Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Information Nanaimo

VICTORIA – Following the approval by Health Canada regulators, the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine will be made available to British Columbians beginning the week of Oct. 26, announced Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“Now that the H1N1 flu vaccine has been approved, I encourage British Columbians to get immunized and protect themselves against this novel flu virus,” said Kendall. “Even if some of the population has already contracted H1N1 so far, we know that most British Columbians have not been infected yet and can still benefit from receiving the vaccine to protect themselves.”

The first batch of vaccine has arrived in British Columbia and is currently being distributed around the province to regional health authorities, based on population numbers in each region. Beginning Monday, it will be available first to those people who would benefit most from immunization: individuals under 65 years of age with chronic disease, pregnant women and individuals – including First Nations people – living in remote or isolated communities. These groups are at high-risk for suffering complications from pandemic H1N1 infection.

“B.C. will receive the H1N1 vaccine shipments in phases. Our plan is to first immunize those individuals considered to be at most risk to ensure that more vulnerable groups are protected,” said Chong. “During this time, we would ask that those people who are not at highest risk to wait until mid-November to get immunized when we receive our full orders.”

The pandemic H1N1 vaccine is an adjuvanted vaccine. Adjuvants are compounds that boost the immune system’s response to vaccine, allowing smaller doses to be used per person. A version of the H1N1 vaccine without adjuvant will also be available in B.C. beginning the second week of November. While the unadjuvanted H1N1 vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, the adjuvanted version, available early next week, is approved for everyone who wants to protect themselves from this pandemic.

Once clinics begin next week, British Columbians who fall into the high-risk groups listed above who need and want the H1N1 vaccine, and for whom the seasonal flu shot is also recommended, will be able to receive both at the same time.

For more information visit the VIHA website using this
LINK or for more information about sympton checker and flu clinic locator use this LINK.

For Updated Flu Clinic Schedule use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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