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PA Department of Health: National Delays in H1N1 Flu Vaccine Distribution Highlight Need for Continued Prevention Efforts
Date:10/29/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Responding to delays in the nationwide distribution H1N1 flu vaccine, Department of Health officials today urged Pennsylvanians to continue to take steps to prevent the spread of illness.

"We recognize that many people are frustrated trying to find the H1N1 vaccine," Department of Health Deputy Secretary Michael Huff said while hosting a webinar on the status of vaccine supply and distribution. "We, too, are frustrated by the production delays. We are promptly distributing all of the vaccine allocated to us by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to ensure it reaches those who need it the most."

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 medical services personnel, and those under 65 with underlying health conditions.

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has allocated approximately 820,400 doses of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine for Pennsylvania. The vaccine has come mostly in multi-dose injectable vials and as Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV), also known as FluMist. LAIV is licensed for use in healthy persons between 2-49 years of age.

Pennsylvania has also received a small number of preservative-free single dose injections for use in individuals four years of age and older.

The vaccine allocated to Pennsylvania has been distributed to 662 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
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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