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posted on December 16, 2009 12:12

 

Idaho 2009 H1N1 Weekly Update: December 16
 
 
As supplies of H1N1 vaccine continue to improve, public health officials are encouraging all Idahoans to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 vaccine before the holidays to help prevent the spread of illness as families and friends gather together. Since last week, the 2009 H1N1 vaccine has been available to Idahoans over the age of 6 months.
 
Recall: Idaho did receive a small amount of the 800,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine for children being recalled nationwide because it is not as potent as it should be. There is no safety concern behind the recall. Because the recalled vaccine is expected to still stimulate an immune response, parents do not need to revaccinate any children. Parents are reminded that children six months through 9 years of age need two doses of vaccine about a month apart to be protected against illness.
                               
Infants less than 6 months of age cannot receive the vaccine. Help protect infants you will visit with this holiday season by getting vaccinated now.
 
H1N1 Vaccine: As of December 15, Idaho has been allocated a total of 432,900 doses* of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. This represents a substantial increase over the past couple of weeks. Most available vaccine is in the shot form with limited supplies of nasal spray vaccine. (*Vaccine allocation numbers can change daily; allotments by the CDC are made on a day-to-day basis.)
 
Those interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged 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.
 
Confirmed cases and hospitalizations: Reports of flu are decreasing in Idaho and around the country. However, influenza is unpredictable, and health officials expect continued flu activity throughout the winter. Since Sept. 1, there have 815 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases reported in Idaho. A total of 376 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported since Sept. 1.
 
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.
 
Deaths: H1N1 infections have contributed to the reported deaths of 19 Idahoans. Reports of additional deaths are under investigation. For more information on H1N1, please visit www.panflu.idaho.gov.