November 1, 2009
For immediate release
Over 24,000 Islanders Vaccinated During the First Week of the Province’s H1N1 Vaccination Program
“We would like to thank Islanders for their patience as we roll out the largest vaccination program in the history of our province,” said Health Minister Doug Currie. “We are pleased at the amount of people we were able to vaccinate during our first week and we will continue to target those who are most at risk.”
“This past week, we received a lower-than-expected supply of H1N1 influenza vaccine,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Office for the Department of Health. “We are pleased with our decision to focus first on those at highest risk for complications from the H1N1 Flu Virus, as identified nationally by the Public Health Agency of Canada because this reinforces the fact that our decision to target those at highest risk is appropriate.”
Provinces receive their vaccine supply through the Public Health Agency of Canada and the vaccine is delivered to provinces on a week-to-week basis per capita. Based on the reduction of vaccine arriving in the province this week, the province has adjusted their vaccination schedule to make the most effective use of the vaccine currently available. “At this point, our vaccination schedule relies heavily on how much vaccine we receive from the national supplier,” said Dr. Morrison.
Half of the expected vaccine doses allotted from the national supply for the coming week, arrived in the province on Thursday and was distributed to sites across the province to continue to vaccinate those at highest risk. With remaining doses, the focus will be to continue to target those in high risk groups.
This week, the province plans to continue to hold clinics for high risk groups, such as children aged six months to school entry and household contacts of infants under six months of age and those with chronic health conditions under the age of 65. All remaining health care workers, pregnant women and aboriginal population are being targeted this week as well.
The province is also expecting to receive their first shipment of unadjuvanted vaccine on Monday and will begin holding additional clinics for pregnant women this week. As well, in keeping with the original vaccine rollout schedule, the province will move into elementary schools later this week to start vaccinating children in elementary schools, starting with students up to and including Grade 3.
Other high risk groups, such as those with egg allergies who have underlying health conditions will also be targeted this week. Those who have egg allergies are encouraged to call the province’s toll-free line (1-888-748-5454) to have their name added to a list, if they have not done so already.
For further information on upcoming clinics, the public should watch for advertisements, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu or call 1-888-748-5454 for the most up-to-date information on immunization clinics.