Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flu update

Flu information for the general public

US CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu this year. Getting a flu vaccine is easy, and it is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu. Vaccine is already available in many places, and it will provide protection through the entire flu season.

The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against:

· an influenza A H3N2 virus,

· an influenza B virus, and

· the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.

You need to get the 2010-11 seasonal flu vaccine even if you got the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine last season.

Over the years, hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. have safely received seasonal flu vaccines. Last flu season, about 80 million people in the U.S. also received the vaccine made to protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus, and the vaccine’s safety was similar to that of seasonal flu vaccines. Over the last 50 years, flu vaccines have been shown to be safe. Every year, CDC works closely with FDA, health care providers, state and local health departments, and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines. CDC also works closely with FDA to ensure systems are in place to promptly detect unexpected health problems following vaccination.

Update on distribution

Most influenza vaccine arrives in Maine through private sector channels, but some federal and state funds allow Maine CDC to purchase flu vaccine for some populations in Maine such as pregnant women, those in nursing homes, K-12 school children and their teachers and other staff, all other children, homeless, and people served by municipal and tribal health departments. Maine CDC will be distributing a total this year of about 290,000 doses of influenza vaccine, most of it over the coming weeks.


Doses Approved for Shipment as of Sept. 22:

Population

Doses

Children ages 6 months to 18 years

77,070*

Adults

27,100

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities

11,230

Total

115,400

* This includes doses shipped to both schools and private health care providers.

Number of schools that have received flu vaccine so far: 81

Number of doses distributed to schools so far: 20,590

All health care providers who have fulfilled the requirements in their provider agreements have received some vaccine toward their orders. If you are a provider who has not yet received vaccine, ensure that you have submitted all the appropriate paperwork and temperature logs.


Flu resources

Maine CDC has posted materials – including registration forms, consent forms, and sample protocols – for those participating in school-based flu vaccine clinics at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/maineflu/h1n1/educators.shtml#schoolclinics

A zip code searchable flu clinic locator will be available at www.flu.gov shortly.

A conference call for those participating in school-based vaccine clinics will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. The phone number is 1-800-914-3396 with the pass code 473623#. During calls, please press *6 to mute your line un-mute when you are actively participating.


Federal guidance and updates

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