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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Email: carl.kanefsky@state.de.us

Date: January 7, 2010
DHSS-4-2010





H1N1 UPDATE FOR JAN. 7, 2010

H1N1 Vaccine Now Available To All In Delaware


Flu level in Delaware: For the period of December 27 through January 2, there were 36 reports of influenza-like illness from the Division of Public Health's (DPH) network of sentinel providers, compared to 37 the previous week. One case of H1N1 virus was confirmed by the DPH lab, compared to one the previous week. The total number of confirmed H1N1 cases since Oct. 4 is 1,972. There were no hospitalizations from H1N1 during the week of December 27 through January 2.

At this time, DPH is changing Delaware's influenza activity level from Widespread to Sporadic. Although we continue to see influenza-like illness throughout the state, the level of activity has remained at a consistent and lower level for the past six weeks than was seen previously, and a lack of increases in cases is part of the CDC guideline for the designation of Sporadic. The reduction in flu activity designation does not diminish the need for caution and vaccination, nor does it diminish the potential severity of the illness for those who get the flu.

As reported yesterday, one case from a previous week died, a 56 year old Kent County woman with several underlying conditions.

"The death of this woman is a stark reminder that this flu is still here, that we're still seeing consequences" said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. "We cannot stress enough the importance and urgency of vaccinations for everyone, especially those who have underlying health conditions which can make them experience more serious complications from the flu."

Dr. Rattay also reminds Delawareans that all Delawareans above 6 months of age can now be vaccinated. This is possible due to an increase in 2009 H1N1 vaccine supply and because 75 percent of the vaccine that was requested by providers for high-risk populations has been shipped to them. Until this time, vaccine was not as readily available and high-risk groups had priority due to their susceptibility to complications caused by the flu or flu-like illness.

Vaccine Distribution: At this time, it is expected that Delaware will receive about 48,910 doses of H1N1 vaccine next week. 15,000 doses will be ordered for hospitals and 15,000 doses will be ordered for small pharmacies throughout the state. The remaining doses will be designated for health care providers and long term care facilities that still need vaccine. To date, it is estimated that 304,600 doses of vaccine have been administered by DPH or made available to the medical community in Delaware since Nov. 2, including 46,312 children in schools.

Major pharmacy chains in Delaware have already begun to receive H1N1 vaccine under an agreement with the federal government. These vaccines will be available free to any adult who wishes to be vaccinated. Nationally, the pharmacies involved include Walgreens, CVS, Target, Costco, Kroger, Publix, SuperValu, Stop-and-Shop, Rite Aid, Wal-mart, ACME and Safeway. DPH is providing vaccine to pharmacies in Delaware that are not participating in this program. By law, pharmacists in Delaware cannot vaccinate persons younger than 18 years.

In addition to physicians and pharmacies throughout the state, residents can avail themselves to clinics as they are scheduled in their area. The next free H1N1 vaccination clinic will be a three-day event held at the New Castle Farmers Market located at 110 N. DuPont Highway in New Castle. This clinic offers free H1N1 vaccines to anyone over the age of six months. Dates and times for the clinic are as follows:

Friday January 8 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday January 9 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday January 10 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The school vaccination program continues, as well. DPH and the Delaware Department of Education announce the following schedule for the week of Jan. 11 for the H1N1 School Vaccination Program:

DATE SCHOOL DISTRICT
1/11/10 Maclary (2nd dose) Christiana School District
1/11/10 Wilson (2nd dose) Christiana School District
1/11/10 Major Welch Elementary School CR
1/11/10 W. Reily Brown at Arnold CR
1/11/10 Charlton CR
1/11/10 Ralph McIlvane ECC CR
1/11/10 Calvery Christian Academy Private
1/11/10 Our Lady of Fatima Private
1/11/10 St. Peter's Cathedral Private
1/12/10 Family Foundations (2nd dose) Colonial School
1/12/10 Long Neck Elementary IR
1/12/10 Milton Elementary Cape
1/12/10 Sussex Consortium Cape
1/12/10 St. John the Beloved Private
1/12/10 Christ the Teacher Private
1/13/10 Heritage Red Clay
1/13/10 W. Reily Brown at Welch CR
1/13/10 Star Hill Elementary CR
1/13/10 Stokes Elementary CR
1/13/10 St. Mary Magdalen Private
1/13/10 St. Elizabeth's Private
1/13/10 Wilmington Friends Private
1/14/10 Richardson Park Elementary Red Clay
1/14/10 Richardson Park Learning Red Clay
1/14/10 Woodbridge Elementary Woodbridge
1/14/10 Immaculate Heart of Mary Private
1/15/10 Baltz Red Clay
1/15/10 Holy Cross Private
1/15/10 St. Edmond's Academy Private
1/15/10 St. Anne's Episcopal School Private
1/15/10 Independence School Private

For additional information about both H1N1 and seasonal vaccines, please see our website at www.flu.delaware.gov.

DPH would also like to let all interested media know that the weekly telephone briefings will be discontinued, instead media will be updated by weekly press releases such as above.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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