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Province provides new H1N1 vaccine info; new eligibility requirements

Contributor
By Contributor
November 13th, 2009

Ed. Note: The following is a press release issued by the provincial government:

More British Columbians will be eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine beginning Monday, Nov. 16 – including first responders, healthy children, seniors with chronic health conditions and additional health care workers.

“With the arrival of more vaccine in our province and today’s federal authorization of the unadjuvanted vaccine, we can expand our eligibility criteria by reaching out and offering immunization to even more British Columbians,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall. “The other good news is that, with the Public Health Agency of Canada announcing new dosing recommendations for children and expanding the use of the unadjuvanted vaccine to include healthy people between the ages of 10 and 64, we will now be able to make the vaccine we do have go further.”

In addition to pregnant women, children six months to under five years, front-line health care workers, those in remote and isolated communities and those under 65 with chronic health conditions, people in the following groups will be eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine in B.C. beginning Monday:
* People 65 years of age and over with chronic health conditions;
* Healthy children from five years to 18 years inclusive;
* Health care workers delivering acute care, long term care, home care, and public health services, and;
* First responders.

“The number of people in these new eligible groups is significantly greater than the amount of vaccine we currently have in B.C. so not everyone will be able to get immunized in the next week,” said Kendall. “As access may vary slightly depending on health authority region, I encourage people to call ahead to their public health clinic or physician’s office to ensure the vaccine is available to them. We do expect that those who are now eligible and who want the vaccine will be able to get it over the next three weeks.”

In total, B.C. has received 1.16 million doses of pandemic H1N1 vaccine to date. An additional 258,000 doses are expected to arrive next week.

“To date, we have been able to vaccinate more than 900,000 British Columbians who are most at-risk or who would most benefit from being immunized,” said Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong. “Despite unexpected delays in the manufacture of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine in Canada, the largest immunization campaign in B.C.’s history continues to roll out and we are optimistic that every British Columbian who needs and wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so before the end of this year.”

For more information on the H1N1 flu vaccine, visit www.gov.bc.ca/h1n1. To find where you can get your H1N1 and/or seasonal flu shot, visit the Flu Clinic Locator at www.ImmunizeBC.ca or contact your local public health unit to confirm access in your community.

Categories: General

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