Initial Supply of 20,000 Intranasal Doses Will be Available for Children Ages 2-4 Years Old
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that an initial shipment of 20,000 intranasal H1N1 vaccine doses is expected to arrive in the state next week. The Governor also announced the state is launching a public H1N1 hotline on Monday, October 5.
“Prevention and preparation are essential in mounting an effective statewide response to the swine flu as we head into this flu season,” Governor Rell said. “The state Department of Public Health has signed up hundreds of doctors, nurses and other providers to administer the vaccine once it arrives. We can begin protecting thousands of our residents with this initial shipment.”
The state Department of Public Health says the more than 1,500 providers who have registered with DPH have put in their orders for the intranasal vaccines. After the initial shipment of intranasal vaccine, the state is expected to receive more than 500,000 doses of both the injectable and intranasal H1N1 vaccines by mid-October and then several thousand more in weekly shipments thereafter.
The intranasal vaccine has received federal approval for use in healthy persons 2-49 years of age, who are not pregnant. The state Department of Public Health (DPH), in accordance with the state H1N1 vaccination distribution plan, advises that the initial shipments of the intranasal vaccine be used for healthy children 2-4, who are at greater risk for severe illness if they contract the H1N1 or the so-called swine flu. The first round of vaccine is also being made available to vaccinate caregivers and household contacts of children younger than 6 months of age and hospital healthcare workers and Emergency Medical Services personnel with direct patient contact.
“We urge providers to target the intranasal vaccine to healthy children between the ages of 2 and 4,” DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin said. “Children are at greater risk of complications due to H1N1 influenza, and this vaccine is very effective at providing them with protection.”
Once the bulk of the vaccine arrives over the next few weeks, it will first be made available to those who are at greatest risk for complications due to the H1N1 influenza: pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than age of six months, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children aged six months to four years and children aged 5 to 18 with chronic medical conditions.
Since August, Governor Rell has convened three statewide H1N1 summits with school officials and local health directors and emergency responders. The Governor has also led statewide conference calls with local health directors and state agencies.
A new public hotline for H1N1 will be operational beginning Monday and will be staffed by representatives from DPH. The number is: 800-830-9426. The public can call the hotline Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The H1N1 vaccine is only effective against the H1N1 virus and does not protect against seasonal influenza. Public health officials also encourage Connecticut residents to get their seasonal flu vaccination, as well as the H1N1 vaccination.
For more information on the H1N1 virus or the seasonal flu in Connecticut visit: http://www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch