All Target Populations to Receive Vaccine

Early next week the Winchester Board of Health will conduct an H1N1 flu clinic for qualifying town residents on an appointment-only basis.

“The last clinic went well,” Health Director Jennifer Murphy said of the clinic for pregnant women that was conducted earlier this week. “We got quite a few women … so now we’re moving on to the next tier of target groups.”

The first group eligible for next week’s clinic will be Winchester residents who live with or provide substantial care for infants younger than 6 months of age, such as parents, siblings or nannies.

Murphy said immunizing this group is crucial, since infants younger than 6 months old are not able to receive the vaccine themselves, Winchester Star reports.

Meanwhile, in Louisville almost one-third of the 15,000 vaccinations allocated for two days of H1N1 flu clinics had been used by early afternoon Wednesday, according to public health officials.

As of 1 p.m., approximately 4,985 people had been vaccinated at drive-through lanes and a walk-in clinic at the site off Floyd Street south of Central Avenue.

While the clinic will remain open until 8 p.m., “the way it’s going, we’re pretty sure we will” hold the second clinic scheduled for Thursday, said Kathy Harrison, spokeswoman for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

In the meantime, Louisville public health officials are encouraging people at the clinic to use the walk-in facility as a way to get vaccinated in a more timely fashion, Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

It was also reported, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry, M.D., announced today that the 2009 H1N1 vaccine is now available by appointment in Louisiana for all groups recommended to receive the vaccine (target groups) through more than 350 health care providers statewide, including parish health units. For the first time, people aged 25 through 64 years who have chronic health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza can now get the H1N1 vaccine. DHH has also launched a revamped Web site and a H1N1 flu shot locator that allows target group residents across the state to find locations offering the H1N1 vaccine.

“With enough vaccine now available to vaccinate members of all our target populations, we are offering protection from the virus to those who need it most,” Secretary Levine said. “The updated web site will serve as a valuable tool for residents looking not only for information about the H1N1 virus, but public locations where they can receive their vaccination as well. We encourage all those in our target groups to call first and see if the correct formulation of the vaccine for their target group is available, and then to make an appointment to receive it.”

Parish health units statewide have received initial doses of the H1N1 vaccine, in addition to all federally-qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and many private providers who have agreed to vaccinate the target groups in the state. All target populations can now receive the vaccine, KPLC-TV reports.

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