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County Fill-in-Blank News Release

First Shipment of H1N1 Vaccine                                               

Date:               _____
Contact:          _____, Administrative Director                        
                      _____ County Health Department
Phone:            _____

The _____ County Health Department announced today that it has received (or will receive) _____ doses of the H1N1 influenza vaccine. These are the first doses of the new vaccine to be delivered to the county as part of the initial 21,100 doses shipped to Oklahoma.

The vaccine is in the form of a nasal spray known as Flu Mist, which is approved for healthy persons 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant and who do not have underlying medical conditions.

“We will target school-age children with the majority of these first doses,” said _____ County Health Department Administrative Director _____. “Since Sept.1 in Oklahoma, more than 60 percent of the influenza-related hospitalizations have been in patients under 19 years of age, so we know school-aged children are at high risk for complications from H1N1 flu.” (Optional sentence addition: “Several schools in this area have also reported high absenteeism due to flu-like illness.”)

“We hope that by vaccinating children who are not yet sick, we can provide a level of immunity to the H1N1 flu very quickly,” _____ said.

“Our plans are to (complete this paragraph by describing the distribution plan you have for your communities.)

_____ said parental consent will be required for children to get the H1N1 vaccination. “Parents should know that the Flu Mist spray has been used very effectively in providing seasonal influenza vaccine to children, so we are confident that we can do so with the H1N1 vaccine. Children are pleased that no needles are involved, and while the vaccine does contain live viruses, they are weakened and cannot cause flu illness,” _____ said.

S/he said any side effects to the nasal spray are usually mild and short-lasting and may include runny nose, nasal congestion or cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, sore throat and headache.

_____ said _____ County Health Department will continue to receive more H1N1 vaccine in the coming weeks in both the nasal spray and injectable formulations. “We will work with our local health care providers to provide the vaccine first to the priority groups that are most impacted by the new H1N1 virus,” ____ said. Priority groups include the following:

  • Pregnant women
  • Health care workers and emergency medical responders
  • 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

“In the meantime, _____ County citizens should still get their annual seasonal flu shot,” _____ said. “This vaccine is different from the H1N1 vaccine and will protect against this year’s seasonal influenza virus strains. We have seasonal flu clinics scheduled (insert clinic schedule).”

Seasonal flu vaccine is also available through some local doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

For more information, call the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).


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