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Wake could soon open H1N1 clinics to all

Posted December 3, 2009

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— Wake County could open its H1N1 immunization clinics to the general public as soon as next week, Community Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said Thursday.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies said no statewide policy has been set for making the vaccine for the H1N1 flu virus more widely available, but some counties have said their supplies are sufficient to move beyond the high-risk groups that have been receiving vaccinations in recent weeks.

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"Some of them are holding their vaccine clinics for our target groups and not that many people are showing up, and they still have a good amount of vaccine left at the end of the clinic," Davies said. "We obviously don't want vaccine sitting around. We want vaccine in people."

Officials have been restricting vaccinations to pregnant women, children between the ages of 6 months and 24 years, anyone caring for an infant younger than 6 months old and emergency and health care workers.

Ledford said Wake County public health workers are contacting local pediatricians and ob-gyns to see if they've been able to vaccinate target populations, and they're also analyzing priority groups. Once they get those numbers, Ledford said, she can make a decision about opening vaccines to the public.

Orange County health officials said they haven't decided whether to open immunization clinics to the general public. Durham County health officials couldn't be reached Thursday for comment.

"It does look like we are getting very close now in North Carolina to being able to generally open this up to the public," Davies said.

She said she doesn't think everyone in high-risk groups has been immunized against H1N1. Some have chosen not to be vaccinated, she said, while others might have been scared off by long lines.

"Other people might have been discouraged by the early lines and the perception (that) they could wait in line and not get a vaccine at the end of the day," she said. "I think hearing that it's more generally available will signal to them also that they can get that vaccine, and they might want to come in and get that."

Raleigh resident Blue Greenberg said she's been frustrated that she hasn't been able to get vaccinated.

"I believe it's a really bad strain of flu, and I don't need to get sick," Greenberg said.

Resident Anthony Scott said he plans to be among the first in line for the vaccine once Wake County opens its immunization clinics to everyone.

"With the symptoms going around, I would love to try and get it for myself," Scott said.

State officials could shift vaccine stocks between counties as needed if some continue to have trouble meeting demand, especially among high-risk groups, Davies said.

The virus has been spreading in waves, and Davies said waves of H1N1 will likely continue through the normal flu season into next spring.

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  • wattsun Dec 4, 2009

    "Thimerosal doesn't cause any problems. There is ZERO evidence of it"
    Sherwood Take 5 minutes to watch and learn Brain Neuron Degeneration via Mercury.
    Video From University of Calgary Study:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHqVDMr9ivo&NR=1

  • FromClayton Dec 4, 2009

    hey folks. just got the h1n1 shot yesterday. the doctor told me it did contain thermosol, but it is the equivilent of the murcery in a can of tuna. Still not sure if it was the right thing to do or not...but those are the facts as it was told to me at Raleigh OBGYN at REX Hospital yesterday. There is thermosol in there...they do SAY it is safe. Good luck.

  • robertosherwood Dec 4, 2009

    Thimerosal doesn't cause any problems. There is ZERO evidence of it, other than websites purporting there is a problem. EVERY study ever done says it is safe. People need to get their heads out of their behinds.

  • wattsun Dec 4, 2009

    scientistjo,
    Correction noted

  • wattsun Dec 4, 2009

    NC Reader
    After looking back over the full insert that seems to be a true statement from the Nurse

  • scientistjo Dec 4, 2009

    wattsun,

    The single-dose vaccines do not contain thimerisol...and that is what you will get at these clinics. This is from the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_safety_qa.htm

  • NC Reader Dec 4, 2009

    Let me clarify about "the young woman" -- I was talking about the UNC student who is in critical condition after having H1N1. I had just read that article before this one.

  • NC Reader Dec 4, 2009

    A nurse told me that the single dose vaccine packages (?) have no thimerosal, but that the multi-dose packages do. Regardless, I am glad that my children were vaccinated.

    My prayers go out to this young woman and her family. What a terrible thing.

  • wattsun Dec 4, 2009

    Hmmm Jo where do you get your info from?

    From the Novartis H1N1 insert page 12:

    The 5-mL multidose vial formulation contains thimerosal, a mercury derivative, added as a preservative. Each 0.5-mL dose from the multidose vial contains 25 mcg mercury.

    http://www.fluscam.com/Vaccine_Package_Inserts_files/Novartis_A-H1N1_2009_Monvalent_VaccinePackageInsert_BasedOn1980Approvalfor%20Fluvirin_UCM182242.pdf

  • scientistjo Dec 4, 2009

    Tarheels,

    There are no preservatives or adjuvants in the US vaccine. Therefore, there is not mercury-containing thimerisol in the seasonal or h1n1.

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