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For Release:  October 9, 2009                                                             
Contact: Pamela Williams                        
Office of Communications                        
405/271-5601

More H1N1 Vaccine Expected In State

Pregnant women and children with certain chronic diseases will benefit from new shipments of the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine expected to arrive in the state early next week.  State health officials expect an additional 44,100 doses of vaccine including both nasal spray and the initial shipment of injectable vaccine to reach the state.

“As vaccine arrives in Oklahoma, we continue to target the highest priority groups,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.  “This shipment will be the first with the injectable vaccine appropriate for pregnant women and children with chronic disease.”

Bradley said local county health departments will also continue to target healthy school-aged children at school locations that are experiencing elevated absenteeism rates due to children and staff out with influenza.

As with the initial shipment earlier this week, vaccine will be made available only through county health departments and the Indian Health Service.  Once larger quantities of vaccine arrive in the state later this month, private providers will begin to receive vaccine and distribute it in the same manner as seasonal influenza vaccine.        

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is projected to receive H1N1 vaccine in weekly shipments through early January 2010. Initial doses will be provided to those priority groups most at risk from complications of H1N1 influenza, including the following:

  • Pregnant women
  • People caring for infants less than 6 months of age
  • Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions
  • Health care workers and emergency medical responders

For more information about H1N1 or seasonal influenza, visit www.health.ok.gov or call your local county health department, or call the Oklahoma State Department of Health toll-free H1N1 hotline at: 1-866-278-7134. Phones are answered Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

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