Small amount of H1N1 vaccine expected in Colorado next week
DENVER, Colorado – Colorado is getting ready for the delivery of an initial 53,800 doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. The first doses are expected to arrive in the state next week, and are part of 2 million doses being distributed nationally.
The initial doses, which will be FluMist nasal spray vaccine, will primarily be made available to Denver metropolitan-area hospitals for the vaccination of health care workers who have direct patient care responsibilities and all local public health agencies in every Colorado county. Later doses of vaccine will be shipped weekly and will include both the injectable and FluMist types of vaccine. These later shipments will be distributed to enrolled private providers and local public health agencies throughout Colorado.
State health officials said the second allocation of the vaccine will begin on Oct. 9 and is estimated to total 4 million nationally, with an estimated 64,000 doses for Colorado. Quantities are expected to jump in week 3 nationally and in Colorado.
Overall, Colorado expects to receive 1.6 percent of the national 2009 H1N1 vaccine supply and anticipates eventually having enough vaccine for all people who want to be vaccinated.
Because FluMist uses a live, although weakened virus, there are additional restrictions placed on its use. Health care workers who get this vaccine must be healthy, 49 years of age or younger and cannot work directly with immunosuppressed patients. Additionally, FluMist is not recommended for pregnant women. Colorado expects to receive the influenza vaccine recommended for pregnant women in the subsequent weeks following the initial shipment in early October.
The highest priority individuals for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine including the following:
• Pregnant women
• Household contacts of children younger than 6 months of age
• Health care workers with patient care responsibilities
• Children between 6 months and 4 years of age
• Children 5-18 years of age with underlying risk conditions
For ongoing information about both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website at http://www.colorado.gov/nofluforyou or call the CO HELP line for answers to seasonal and H1N1 influenza questions at 1 (877) 462-2911.