KCHD Announce H1N1 Vaccine Groups
Submitted by Lori Moots-Clair, RN
The Knox County Health Department is announcing the expansion of their H1N1 vaccination priority groups. The department will continue to vaccine Knox County residents that are age 6 months – 24 years, household contacts on infants less than six months, health-care workers and pregnant women; and they will add effective November 3, 2009 individuals ages 25 through 64 years of age who are at a higher risk for H1N1 because of a chronic health condition or compromised immune system.
Lori Moots-Clair, administrator with the department, reports at this time “that the health department has received a good supply of vaccine for the priorities listed above, and have on hand both nasal mist for healthily individuals ages 2-49 and inject able for those six months to two year, greater than 49 years or with health concerns, such as asthma or diabetes.” Individuals not meeting these vaccine priorities will have the opportunity to be vaccinated when further shipments of the vaccine arrive. Moots-Clair reports that the state health department allocates further doses on Wednesday, and when the priorities have changed she will notify the public.
To date, Knox County does have one laboratory confirmation case of H1N1 influenza; however the health department notes that multiple cases of influenza like illness have been reported. With this in mind, individuals should take into consideration that vaccine takes on average two weeks to become fully effective, and therefore persons should continue to exercise good hand washing, social distancing and sanitization of public surfaces. These practices should also be conducted to protect those around you. For those and individuals that are currently ill, the health department recommends staying away from contacts fro seven days, or if fever has accompanied the illness, until 24 hours fever free without medication. Also, currently health officials recommend that persons who have been ill, but have not had confirmed influenza still seek vaccination.
The health department will continue vaccinations clinics on Tuesdays from 8 am- 4pm and on Friday mornings from 8 am – noon. All vaccine is on a first come, first serve basis, and no vaccine will be held or reserved.