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October 21, 2009
For immediate release
PEI Announces Rollout of H1N1 Vaccine Campaign
We are pleased to announce the launch of our H1N1 influenza vaccine campaign here in PEI, said Doug Currie, Minister of Health. We know that there is enough vaccine for every person who needs and wants it in PEI and, starting next week, staff will begin to offer the vaccine to those who would benefit most from immunization against the H1N1 Flu Virus.
The vaccine program will be rolled out over the next four to six weeks and the schedule is based on the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The vaccine will be delivered by Public Health nurses and others at no cost, at various sites across the province, including public health nursing clinics, schools, health centres, correctional facilities and healthcare facilities.
Each year there are different strains of influenza going around and, this year, the predominant strain is H1N1, said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for the Department of Health. Over the past few weeks, there has been an overall increase in H1N1 activity in Canada and for most people, the H1N1 vaccine is the vaccine they need first that will offer the best protection against influenza this fall.
The H1N1 vaccine is developed the same way as the regular seasonal influenza vaccine but offers protection against the H1N1 influenza virus. It is important to note that for those who receive the vaccine, it often takes up to two weeks to develop immunity to the virus.
Most people will require only one dose of the vaccine, with the exception of children who are six months up to 10 years of age, who will require two half doses of the vaccine to develop adequate immunity. The vaccine is usually given into the arm of adults and children over one year of age and into the thigh for infants, six months to one year of age. The vaccine is not given to infants under the age of six months.
The H1N1 Vaccine Schedule in PEI will be the following:
Week of October 26
Health Care Workers
Household contacts of children less than 6 months
Children six months old up to school entry
People with chronic conditions under the age of 65
Household contacts and care providers of people who are immune compromised
First Nations and Aboriginal Population
Week of November 2
Week of November 9
Junior and Senior High Schools
Week of November 16
Mass public clinics
Week of November 23
Second dose for children six months of age to school entry
Week of November 30
Second dose for children school entry to nine years of age
A specialized clinic for people with egg allergies will be offered as well to ensure that every person can receive the vaccine if they wish.
Announcements will start next week on the times and locations for upcoming clinics. The public is advised to watch the newspapers, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu or call 1-888-748-5454 for further information.