The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has just received a shipment of 26,000 dosages of the H1N1 vaccine. While the arrival of the vaccine is good news, this still represents a limited supply for Santa Clara County.
Because of the limited supply and the understanding that most medical providers in Santa Clara County have not yet received shipments from the federal government, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department will immediately begin to redistribute vaccine to local medical providers. For the next week, these providers have been instructed to give the vaccine to people who are at highest risk for infection AND serious illness and complications from the H1N1 flu, or care for high risk individuals who cannot receive vaccine:
Starting on November 7th, the department will begin vaccination clinics for the following groups of people:
The first public clinic for those at highest risk will be held on November 7th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and will stay open during this period as long as supplies last. The clinic will be located at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
Other clinic locations, dates and times will be added when more shipments of vaccine arrive. Continue to check on the Public Health Department’s web site for updates. When more shipments of vaccine begin to flow into the county, the Public Health Department will notify all public and private healthcare providers when they can begin to vaccinate the general public and no longer need to give the vaccine only to high risk groups
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department shares the public’s concern about the overall availability of the H1N1 vaccine but asks healthy adults to wait until vaccine becomes more readily available. Most healthy people who become sick with the H1N1 will recover without needing any medical attention. People in a high risk group are at greater risk for serious illness and death. That is why early vaccination efforts are focused on getting them the protection the vaccine offers.
If someone who is at high risk for illness or complications from the H1N1 flu has flu symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately and begin treatment with antiviral medications. Anyone with severe symptoms of flu should contact their medical provider for advice on what to do. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided guidelines to the local medical community recommending immediate treatment with antiviral medications to anyone in a high risk group with flu-like illness. Flu symptoms can come on suddenly, so at the first sign of illness, those at high risk should contact their healthcare provider right away.
H1N1 flu symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus, especially children, also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.
Flu antiviral medications are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaler) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.