FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-524-7313
October 8, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 20,000 Doses of Nasal Spray Arriving;
Second Shipment Next Week to Include Injectable Vaccine
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that an initial shipment of more than 20,000 doses of the intranasal H1N1 vaccine has begun to arrive in the state and another 20,000 doses, which will include the injectable variety, are due in Connecticut next week.
“These first doses will help us begin protecting those most at risk – our children,” Governor Rell said. “Pediatricians are among the first to receive these doses and we are very encouraged that much more of the vaccine is on the way to protect every member of the family.”
The vaccine is being distributed directly to those providers who have placed orders with the state Department of Public Health.
The state expects 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 Governor will receive an update on vaccine availability and distribution from federal officials later today.
The intranasal vaccine is federally approved for healthy people 2 to 49 years of age but is most effective in children. The state Department of Public Health (DPH), in accordance with the state H1N1 vaccination distribution plan, advises that the first 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.
The state Department of Public Health says that some of the more than 1,600 providers who have registered with DPH have begun receiving their orders for the intranasal vaccines. The second round of vaccine, which will include the injectable vaccine, will expand the priority groups to include pregnant women and people under the age of 18 with high-risk medical conditions.
“People who belong to these priority groups should contact their healthcare provider to find if their provider will be getting the vaccine. If somebody does not have a healthcare provider or if their provider is not getting the vaccine they should call the H1N1 Hotline at 800-830-9426,” DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin said. “It is important that people understand that the vaccine is just now beginning to arrive into the state and we expect to receive more vaccine every week. People may need to be patient and persistent to get the vaccine in these early rounds of vaccine supply.”
Once the bulk of the vaccine arrives, it will first be made available to the following high risk groups: 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.
At the Governor’s direction, DPH has set up a number of outlets for the public and providers to get information on the vaccine:
H1N1 hotline – 800-830-9426.
Doctors and other health care providers interesting in registering with the DPH to place orders for the vaccine can get information at:
www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch/providers or call 860-509-7929.
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.