Christine Decker Stone, 971-673-1282, office; 503-602-8027, cell; email@example.com
H1N1 vaccine shipments on the way to Oregon; more coming soon
As the first H1N1vaccine doses are being shipped around the country, Oregon public health officials expect there will be enough vaccine in Oregon so that widespread vaccination can begin around the middle of October at local flu clinics, with a particular focus on key priority groups.
"Over the course of the flu season we are expecting to have a large enough supply to vaccinate everyone with the H1N1 vaccine," says Mel Kohn, M.D., public health director for Oregon. "With these first shipments, children, pregnant women, health care workers and others on the priority list should be first in line.” The priority list is:
· Children and young adults 6 months to 24 years old;
· Pregnant women;
· People caring for or living with infants under 6 months of age;
· People aged 25 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for influenza-related complications;
· Health care workers;
· Frontline law enforcement and public safety workers.
It is expected that the first shipment to Oregon will be distributed directly to Oregon counties on a per capita basis. The first vaccine doses will arrive mostly in nasal spray form, although over the course of the season both the nasal spray and injectable vaccine should be available, Kohn said.
Most people should be able to get vaccinated by their health care provider, although other options will be available across the state as well. State and local public health officials will spread the word about the availability of H1N1 flu shot clinics once vaccine begins arriving in substantial quantities. Information on vaccine availability will be posted on the state public health Web site at www.flu.oregon.gov and will also be available from the state hotline at 1-800-978-3040.
"All local public health departments be working to ensure vaccines are quickly and broadly distributed across the state and people will have a wide variety of options, whether through their health care provider or a community flu clinic," says Dr. Gary Oxman, health officer for Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.
The nasal spray vaccine is as effective as a shot for healthy people between ages 2 and 49. However, health officials recommend that some groups wait for the injectable vaccine, including: pregnant women, children younger than 2, and people with asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases. Injectable vaccine is expected to begin arriving in substantial quantities later in October.
Regular seasonal flu shots, which do not protect against H1N1, are also recommended, and are currently available. Information on where to get one is available on the Public Health Flu Web site at www.flu.oregon.gov or from the state hotline at 1-800-978-3040.
"We ask that everyone keep informed about H1N1 in Oregon and how they can best protect themselves and their families," says Kohn. "Together we can slow the spread of this flu as much as possible and reduce the impact on our state."
Since September 1, 2009, there have been 16 hospitalizations in Oregon from the flu: six were confirmed H1N1 and the rest influenza A. One death was reported in September.
Public health experts continue to advise the public to take basic precautions to help slow the spread of all influenza:
• Wash your hands;
• Cover your cough;
• Stay home if you are sick.
For more information on where to get the vaccine when it becomes available, please visit the Oregon Department of Human Services Web site www.flu.oregon.gov or call the Oregon Public Health Flu hotline: 1-800-978-3040.
Due to the concerns regarding the H1N1 flu, we have posted several informational links:
Free Flu Clinic at Clackamas County Fairgrounds Friday November 7,2008
Free Flu Clinic Spanish
Free Flu Clinic English
Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings, or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.
What to Wear:
- The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- Hypothermia develops when a child's temperature falls below normal due to exposure to cold. It often happens when a youngster is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing.
- As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. His/her speech may become slurred and his/her body temperature will decline.
- If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him/her in blankets or warm clothes.
- Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. They may become pale, gray, and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
- If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of his/her body in warm (not hot) water. 104 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears, and lips. Do not rub the frozen areas.
- After a few minutes, dry and cover him/her with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
- If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.
- If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child's room at night. Saline nose drops may help keep tissues moist.
- Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of his/her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and the flu.
- Children between the ages of six and 59 months should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu.
For more tips, please visit http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/decwintertips.htm.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
The annual immunization review will be submitted to Clackamas County by January 17. To avoid the exclusion process, most students will need 5 DTaP, DT,Td, TdaP, 4 polio, Varicella of history of chickenpox disease, 2 Measles/Mumps/Rubella and 3 Hepatitis B. For medical exemption a letter must be submitted signed by a licensed physician stating: Child's name, birth date, medical condition that contrindicates vaccine, list of vaccines contrindicated, approximate time until condition resolves, if applicable, the physician's name and contact information.
For religious exemption, please request a brochure to read about potential risks and possible exclusion during a disease occurrence. You may request specific immunizations for exemption.
Please sign and date all information to be updated for your student. Contact me at 503-266-0033 for questions.
District Nurse Services