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Pennsylvania Department of Health Continues Statewide Distribution H1N1 Vaccine

Saturday, October 24, 2009 General News J E 4
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 23 The Department of Health today announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has allocated more than 566,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine to Pennsylvania. While delays in vaccine production have occurred, the department is placing orders as soon as vaccine is allocated to ensure it reaches Pennsylvania residents as quickly as possible.

The department continues to target the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices', or ACIP, priority groups for vaccination -- individuals between the ages of six months and 24 years, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than six months of age, pregnant women, healthcare providers and emergency services personnel, and those under 65 with underlying health conditions.

The vaccine was distributed to 570 certified providers, including pediatricians, family health practitioners, obstetricians, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities who agreed to target the ACIP recommended groups. The certified providers are those that have registered with the Department of Health to provide H1N1 vaccine and have completed the required vaccine user agreement. The vaccine was also distributed to state health centers and local, county and municipal health departments to help reach the target populations.

To date, Pennsylvania has received multi-dose injectable vaccine and a small number of preservative-free doses for children four years of age and older. Most of the vaccine received has been Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine, (LAIV, also known as FluMist) for use in healthy persons between 2-49 years of age.

As a result of vaccine production delays, the commonwealth is not expected to receive as much vaccine by the end of October as earlier reported. The CDC continues to allocate vaccine as it is released by the manufacturers. Based on information provided by the CDC, eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants to receive it, including persons outside the priority groups.

To find an H1N1 vaccination site, people in the recommended target groups should contact their healthcare provider. If their provider does not plan to administer the vaccine or if an individual does not have a healthcare provider, please call 1-877-PA HEALTH or visit www.H1N1inPA.com.

Media contact: Stacy Kriedeman, 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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