First Doses of H1N1 Nasal Vaccine Now Available at Local Public Health Agencies
Missouri health officials have announced that the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine are available as a nasal spray.
Missouri was allocated 35,000 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine from manufacturers’ initial shipments and orders were placed beginning on Sept. 30. The first week’s shipment includes the nasal spray, or FluMist, type of vaccine, which can be given to healthy individuals age 2 to 49 years.
At this time, the Clark County Health Department will begin immunizing healthy children age 2 years to 4 years. To be effective for children under 10, the vaccine requires two doses, approximately one month apart.
“We encourage parents and guardians to get their children immunized to protect the health of their children and other family members,” said Evelena Sutterfield, RN, Administrator.
As more vaccine becomes available, children age 5 through 9 should also be immunized. The vaccine will be available at the Clark County Health Department clinic at 670 North Johnson in Kahoka, Missouri. This is the only site in Clark County that H1N1 vaccine will be available.
“The Clark County Health Department will begin immunizing individuals on Tuesday October 13, 2009 from 8 am to 4 pm at the Health Department office,” said Evelena.
An injectable form of the vaccine is expected to be shipped to local health departments beginning Oct. 9. The injectable form has not yet been received at the Clark County Health Department. Children age 10 and older and adults are expected to need only a single dose.
Seasonal vaccine and the H1N1 nasal spray are manufactured by the same process. The state health department is urging all Missourians to get seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines.
Patients can receive shots of both the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time. However, H1N1 flu mist and seasonal flu mist cannot be given at the same visit and should be separated by 4 weeks.
If a patient was previously prescribed antiviral medication, the FluMist should not be administered until 48 hours after the patient stopped taking the antiviral medicine.
Unless a physician decides the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk, FluMist should not be given to children with asthma younger than 5 years of age with recurrent wheezing. The vaccination carries the potential for increased risk of wheezing.
In addition, administration of the FluMist to people with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infections, should be based on careful consideration of potential benefits and risks.
For additional information contact the Clark County Health Department at 660-727-2356. Detailed information about the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu is available at www.dhss.mo.gov.