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Delaware Health Alert Network #211

December 11, 2009 10:00am


Health Advisory
VACCINATION PRIORITIES FOR 2009 H1N1

While the vaccine supply is less than was originally anticipated, the Division of Public Health (DPH) has distributed almost 200,000 doses of vaccine to healthcare providers and for vaccination in schools.  Healthcare providers who have sufficient vaccine should be guided by the original recommendations issued by CDC's Advisory Council on Immunization Practices for who should receive 2009 H1N1 vaccine. These groups are:

  • Pregnant women,
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel,
  • Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old,
  • People ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

Healthcare providers with an insufficient supply of vaccine to vaccinate the CDC recommended groups should continue to prioritize using their best medical judgment and knowledge of their practice's patient profile.

DPH is evaluating vaccine demand and supply to determine if vaccination should be extended beyond these groups as some other states have.  Because we have recently increased ordering for some providers (e.g. internists and hospitals) and because there is still demand for vaccine among the high risk groups, albeit reduced, providers are still encouraged to use vaccine only for the risk groups identified above.  We will continue to monitor this issue and advise you accordingly.

Although the incidence of influenza in Delaware has decreased markedly in recent months, experience with past pandemics would strongly suggest the possibility of additional waves of influenza illness, sometimes with more severe illness than earlier waves. Therefore, providers are urged to continue recommending vaccine to the groups above.

Questions about influenza vaccine supplies and distribution should be directed to DPH’S Immunization Program at 1-800-282-8672

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