Earlier this week, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health announced that the H1N1 virus had claimed the lives of, now, 11 county residents, though Public Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare noted that each of those cases resulting in death had underlying conditions. Since that announcement on Tuesday, the County has received a limited supply of the live intranasal H1N1 influenza vaccine, also referred to as FluMist, which is one of two types of H1N1 vaccines that will be available in the United States. The County’s Department of Public Health will distribute the FluMist vaccine to specified priority groups within the general public and, to date, those groups include healthy children, ages two to 18 years old, and healthy household contacts, two to 49 years old, of individuals less than six months of age. Subsequent supplies of the FluMist vaccine will be directed to healthcare workers, school nurses and health aides, and emergency medical services personnel. The Public Health Department notes that the live intranasal H1N1 vaccine cannot be given to pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions, children under two years of age, or anyone in the priority groups who is 50 years of age or older. The Department of Public Health has been working with community partners, including schools and healthcare providers, to ensure that the vaccine reaches the target populations. Shipments of the inactivated H1N1 shot vaccine are expected by late October. To read more on this week’s H1N1 announcement of Tuesday, see our October 6 story.
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