The H1N1 vaccine will soon be available to the public in Kent County. According to the Kent County Health Department, they received 3,800 doses of the H1N1 novel vaccine Tuesday morning, and expect 16,000 doses to arrive this week.
These doses will be given to hospital medical personnel and emergency medical responders first. Most of the vaccine will be shipped directly to hospitals.
Subsequent deliveries will be dispensed in a variety of settings and are anticipated to arrive in Kent County within the month. Providers will dispense the vaccine first to people in the following priority groups:
• healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
• pregnant women
• people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
• people 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 novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
Once vaccination demand has been met for priority groups, vaccination will begin for anyone who would like the novel H1N1 influenza vaccination. Currently, no novel H1N1 influenza is available to the public. They anticipate that the vaccine will become available to everyone later this month. When it becomes available, H1N1 vaccine will be offered at participating doctors’ offices, retail outlets, and at all health department locations. KCHD is not taking appointments for vaccination at this time.
Please monitor (616) 742-4FLU and stickittotheflu.com for updates on the availability of novel H1N1 influenza vaccine in Kent County. Dates, times, and locations for novel H1N1 flu vaccinations will be posted as they become available.
For information on where to get the seasonal flu shot, please check with participating pharmacies and physicians or visit www.spectrum-health.org/flu to find a link for seasonal flu shot clinics. KCHD offers seasonal flu shots for children only. The flu hotline, (616) 742-4FLU has further details.
Finally, local health departments are responsible for distribution of novel H1N1 flu vaccine in respective jurisdictions. Please note that the process for distribution of vaccine in Kent County may differ from the process in neighboring jurisdictions. This could cause confusion in various reading, viewing, and listening areas, so it’s important to gather information specific to each jurisdiction.