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Health Care Providers Encouraged to Participate in 2009 H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccination Campaign Local Health Departments Can Assist Providers with Sign-up

Press Release Date:  Friday, September 25, 2009  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Barbara Fox,
(502) 564-6786 Ext. 3325 or 4411
 


Statewide News Release                                                                             
Media Contact: Gwenda Bond or Barbara Fox (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 or 4411
 
Health Care Providers Encouraged to Participate in 2009 H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccination Campaign Local Health Departments Can Assist Providers with Sign-up
 
(Sept. 25, 2009) FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is now working with local health departments to enroll private health care providers, such as physician offices and hospitals, to participate in efforts to provide 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) vaccinations once vaccine becomes available. Interested health care providers should contact the local health department in their area.
     "One of the most effective tools we have against influenza is flu vaccine, and we hope to recruit all the interested health care providers in the state to help ensure as many people as possible are protected," said William Hacker, M.D., commissioner of DPH. "Now that more details about the 2009 H1N1 vaccine are available, we want to encourage providers who are interested to contact their local health departments about signing up to receive and provide the new vaccine as it becomes available."
      Limited quantities of the swine flu vaccine could be available as early as the beginning of October, with an increase in supply anticipated toward the end of the month and into November. The earliest shipments will likely be of the nasal spray vaccine, which can be taken by healthy individuals ages 2-49, with H1N1 flu shot vaccine following in larger quantities. Health officials are recommending that individuals under 65 who are at higher risk for complications of the flu—such as pregnant women, health care workers, caretakers of children younger than six months and those with chronic illnesses—be among the target groups to receive vaccine first. However, seasonal flu vaccine is already available in many locations, and health officials are encouraging individuals, including those over 65, not to delay receiving their annual flu shot.
      Like other states in the southeast, Kentucky is currently reporting widespread flu activity due to increased circulation of 2009 H1N1. The increase in cases was expected once schools were back in session. The flu activity levels for states are tracked weekly as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national flu surveillance system.
      "We want to remind Kentuckians to stay aware of new developments related to the flu and to focus on practicing good health habits to prevent cases of flu whenever possible,” said Dr. Hacker.
     Common sense precautions to prevent illness include: avoiding close contact with those who are ill; staying home when sick; covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth; and frequent hand washing.
     Symptoms of H1N1 influenza include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough and body aches. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1. Individuals at higher risk for complications—such as those with chronic health conditions or who are pregnant—should contact a health care provider early, in case treatment with antiviral medication is necessary.
     For more information on swine flu, visit: www.flu.gov. Individuals can also visit http://healthalerts.ky.gov for information on H1N1 and Kentucky, or follow KYHealthAlerts on Twitter to be notified when new information is posted on the Web site.  
                                       
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Last Updated 9/25/2009