State health officials are responding to a nationwide shortage of the H1N1 vaccine.
Wisconsin Health and Family Services Secretary Karen Timberlake says, as of Tuesday, Wisconsin has been allocated a total of 407,000 doses of the vaccine.
“And while that may sound like a large number of doses … nevertheless we don’t have it in the quantities that we need.”
State Health Officer Seth Foldy, MD, says for the next several weeks, local health professionals are encouraged to target individuals who are most-at-risk.
“Our approach is designed to reach the most vulnerable and those who come into contact with the most vulnerable.”
Foldy says too many people are declining the nasal vaccine in favor of the injectable because folks aren’t confident with the flu mist version. Foldy says pregnant women, old folks and babies can not use the nasal vaccine, so those who can … should. Foldy says it’s extremely safe and effective.
“If you are eligible to receive the live vaccine … we strongly recommend that you accept that vaccine and reserve the injectable vaccine for populations who can take no other vaccine.”
The Health Department is asking public and private health care providers to refrain from mass public vaccination clinics, unless they are targeted at those most at risk.
NOTE: You can call 211 for more information or visit http://pandemic.wisconsin.gov/. Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to those of the seasonal flu, including fever, headache, fatigue, cough, runny nose, body aches, nausea and diarrhea. People are encouraged to follow good hygiene precautions such as hand washing, covering their cough/sneeze, and staying home when ill.