Idaho public health officials have decided to open up the H1N1 swine flu vaccine to everyone under age 65 immediately, including healthy adults. This after vaccines through the season thus far have been limited to specific high-risk groups; the flu strain has contributed to the deaths of 17 Idahoans so far. Click below for details from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. People 65 and over will be able to get the vaccine in the coming weeks, the department said.
Idaho 2009 H1N1 Weekly Update: December 4
On Thursday, Dec. 3, public health officials met to discuss the increasing supplies of 2009 H1N1 vaccine and agreed to make it available to all Idahoans under the age of 65 immediately, including healthy adults. Prior to this, a limited supply of vaccine forced public health officials to target the vaccine to recommended initial priority groups that included children and young adults under the age of 25, pregnant women and people 25-64 with underlying health conditions.
For people 65 and older, Idaho’s local Public Health Districts and healthcare providers plan to begin offering the vaccine for them as additional supplies of vaccine become available in the coming weeks.
Public health officials are urging all interested in receiving the vaccine to check with their local public health district for information about upcoming clinics and vaccine availability. Health district web sites can be accessed at www.panflu.idaho.gov.
About 95 percent of lab-confirmed cases in Idaho have in people under the age of 65. The highest number of hospitalizations have been in children less than 10 years of age. This is highly unusual for influenza infections and supports the importance of continued efforts to immunize young children to prevent severe H1N1 disease. Those in the target populations who have not yet been vaccinated should continue to seek the vaccine. Infants less than 6 months of age cannot receive the vaccine. You can help protect infants you come into contact with by getting vaccinated.
Scam Alert: There Is No CDC H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Registry – The CDC does NOT require any registration on the Internet to receive a vaccine, and any e-mail suggesting it does is a fake that is looking for personal information that can be exploited illegally.
H1N1 Vaccine: Most available vaccine is in the shot form with limited supplies of nasal mist vaccine. As of December 4, Idaho has been allocated a total of 359,100 doses* of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. (*Vaccine allocation numbers can change daily; allotments by the CDC are made on a day-to-day basis.)
Confirmed cases and hospitalizations: Influenza-illness continues to be reported around the state. Since Sept. 1, there have 808 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases reported in Idaho. A total of 377 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported since Sept. 1.
Deaths: H1N1 infections have contributed to the reported deaths of 17 Idahoans. Reports of additional deaths are under investigation to determine whether H1N1 is a factor. For more information on H1N1, please visit www.panflu.idaho.gov.