September 23, 2009
For immediate release
Prince Edward Island Approves National Vaccine Sequencing
Last week, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler Jones, issued recommendations for provinces and territories on the delivery of the H1N1 vaccine. These guidelines are based on the best available scientific and technical information and ensure that those who will benefit from the vaccine most will receive it first.
“Last week, I attended the Canada’s Health Ministers meeting where we were presented with the latest scientific data regarding the H1N1 Flu Virus as well as an update on the efforts that have been taken by public health officials in preparation for the fall influenza season,” said Minister Currie. “I am confident that our collaborative efforts will further strengthen our response as we move into the regular influenza season here in Prince Edward Island.”
The guidelines identify groups and individuals that will benefit most from immunization, and those who take care of them. This includes:
• people with chronic medical conditions under the age of 65;
• pregnant women;
• children six months to under five years of age;
• people residing in remote and isolated settings or communities;
• health care workers involved in pandemic response or who deliver essential health services;
• household contacts or caregivers of individuals who are at high risk, and who can not be immunized (such as infants under six months of age or people with weakened immune systems); and
• populations otherwise identified as high risk.
“The guidelines have been reviewed and supported by Public Health officials from across the country and are meant to be used as guidance for planning purposes,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for the Department of Health. “The guidelines can be adjusted to accommodate issues specific to our province and can be revised as new information about the virus and vaccine effectiveness becomes available.”
It is anticipated that the H1N1 vaccine will be available by mid November. Announcements will be made by early November regarding dates and times of clinics; the public is advised to watch the newspapers for further information.