Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mass H1N1 Vaccination Planned For City of Milwaukee

Between 40,000 to 50,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to be made available at three sites

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 26, 2009

Milwaukee - City health officials announced Thursday that they are preparing to vaccinate between 40,000 to 50,000 people when the A (H1N1) vaccine becomes available in mid October. First to be vaccinated would be health care workers, afterwards young adults, children, and pregnant women.
Health officials say that three mass vaccination sites would be announced later in October. The vaccination sites would actually provide 50,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine doses would also be available for patients at doctors' offices, according to health officials.

Last Monday, September 21st, city health officials and Mayor Tom Barrett kicked off the seasonal influenza shots for the fall season at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
Mayor Barrett was at UWM to kickoff the influenza awareness season. Barrett was among the 198 people who received the free seasonal flu shots. Students, faculty, UWM employees and residents around the campus began standing in line about a couple of hours early. The event with Barrett began at 1:00 p.m., but a couple of hours later an estimated 110 people were turned away due to a shortage of doses. People who stayed had to wait between one hour to more than two hours to receive the flu shot.

City health officials only made available a couple of hundred of doses to the public free of charge. The seasonal influenza shot costs about 24 dollars at neighborhood drug stores and clinics.
Milwaukee Health Department officials had available only 1,100 doses this year, of which 900 have been earmarked under a federal program for children 18 and younger.
The seasonal influenza shot won't protect people from the H1N1 strain (Swine Flu), and it takes about two weeks to get immune from the seasonal flu.
The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be ready by mid October. H1N1 accounts for 90 % of influenza cases in the country, according to city health officials.
This month, in Wisconsin at least six people were hospitalizations due to the H1N1 flu virus, but no deaths were reported by the state Department of Health Services.
Since April, Wisconsin has recorded eight deaths and 239 hospitalizations from the A (H1N1) virus. About 99% of the state's lab tested influenza cases were confirmed to be from the H1N1 virus. None of the cases tested and reported have been resistant to anti-viral medication, according to state health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between September 6-12, 2009, widespread influenza activity was reported by 21 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and nine states (California, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin).

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