State prepares to distribute H1N1 flu vaccine - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

State prepares to distribute H1N1 flu vaccine

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)

From the KPLC Newsroom:

Louisiana state health officials say it's allowing online registration for health care workers interested in providing the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine to its residents. The State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry is allowing Louisiana Board of Pharmacy-certified pharmacist to join doctors, hospitals, and local health departments in giving both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccines.

The first supplies of H1N1 flu vaccines are expected to arrive in Louisiana in late October or earlier, depending on the clinical trials to determine vaccine satfey and effectiveness. However, who gets the vaccine first will most likely be given to those who are most at risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Those on the priority list are people who are more likely to suffer complications from the H1N1 flu, including pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age (because infants can't receive flu vaccines), direct care health care and emergency medical services personnel, people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people from ages 25 through 64 years with chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

Like with the seasonal flu, the order executed this week by Guidry will allow board-certified pharmacists to administer H1N1 flu vaccine without a doctor's prescription, as long as pharmacists follow the protocol set up by the federal and state government.

DHH is continuing to monitor the progress of the H1N1 flu to alert the public to any significant changes that would impact the public's health. For more information on flu activity in Louisiana, including guidance for families and medical professionals, visit www.flula.com.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.

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