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State lifts restrictions on H1N1 vaccine

Posted December 8, 2009

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— The state's Division of Public Health is expanding the availability of the H1N1 vaccine to everyone over 6 months old.

"In many areas of the state, it appears demand for the vaccine by those in the groups initially targeted for vaccination has begun to drop off," state health director Dr. Jeffrey Engel said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. "We now feel comfortable broadening vaccination efforts so anyone who wants the H1N1 vaccine may receive it."

For the past two months, public health officials have been offering the vaccine only to people considered to be at highest risk of developing complications if they were to become sick with the H1N1 flu.

Wake County announced Monday that it would open up the vaccine to anyone over 6 months old.

About 200 people showed up Tuesday morning at the Wake County Public Health Center on Sunnydale Road in Raleigh to get the vaccine. Traffic was slow and steady – a stark contrast to earlier this year when hundreds lined up and were turned away due to a limited supply of the vaccine.

Ray Martin, 71, said he was in and out in 15 minutes.

Vaccines were still available Tuesday afternoon, and the county planned to continue holding vaccination clinics for the rest of the week at four locations across the county. Durham County also announced Tuesday it was lifting its restrictions. (View a map of locations below.)

North Carolina has received more than 2 million doses of H1N1 vaccine and is working to distribute it across the state.

"As we enter this new phase, it is important for people to remember that we are still in the midst of an ongoing pandemic," Engel said.

"While the number of cases may be going down, the rate of influenza illness is still high, and we can expect another wave of influenza as we reach the peak of the regular flu season. If you have not yet been vaccinated, we urge you to do so."

Since the outbreak of H1N1 began last April, North Carolina has reported 74 deaths associated with influenza-like illness.


View Flu vaccination clinics in a larger map
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10 Comments

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  • WHEEL Dec 9, 2009

    Why does the State have any jurisdiction over the shots in the first place? They have had no part in their production, shared none of the costs and basically confused the issue where they were involved.

  • liskm Dec 8, 2009

    How is it that Walmart could get large doses for clinics before Dr offices or even health depts. could? That is just BS!

  • AnObserver Dec 8, 2009

    deepmagi: There may be people who get mild cases, but that's certainly not true for everyone. My family and I had swine flu and it wasn't mild at all. We were all miserable for a week. The cough lasted for weeks after that. The people I know who got the swine flu vaccine have not had any bad effects at all. I wish I had gotten it.

  • kewlmom Dec 8, 2009

    If my child has a cold can he still get the nasal vacine?

  • deepmagi Dec 8, 2009

    H1N1 and the vaccine is a financial scam for the drug companies. Stories are common that the vaccine is worse than the mild flu itself. see the flue case dot com.

  • FragmentFour Dec 8, 2009

    Aimee, County Health Departments always get it before (or at the same time) that private practitioners do. If you want your kids to get it faster, take them there.

  • drewwho Dec 8, 2009

    aimeesuddreth: Your pediatrician's office may not be well connected (or lucky, or well organized..). I got my 3 year old a shot 3 weeks ago. He'd been on a waiting list since August. My GP now has them as well, and I'm getting my shot tomorrow, so it seems like there is a lot of vaccine in the area now.

  • wattsun Dec 8, 2009

    Aime Call it Dumb Luck you are better off not shooting that garabge in your kids.

  • Scarlet Dec 8, 2009

    I thought 71 year olds were not supposed to be given H1N1 when there are still younger more at risk folks who have not gotten it.

  • aimeesuddreth Dec 8, 2009

    It makes no sense that the clinics were opened up to everyone over 6mo. I have been trying for weeks to get the shot for my kids at the peditrician. They are continually out, but the health clinic has plenty ???