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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 09, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
H1N1 Weekly Update: Week of December 7, 2009


 

 

2nd Dose Clinics for Children:

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has encouraged physicians, local health agencies and other health care providers to begin planning second-dose H1N1 vaccine clinics for children under 10 years of age, who have earlier received their first dose.

Dr. Susan Walsh, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services, encourages all parents of children under 10 to take their children to receive the second dose for full protection from H1N1 during the 2009-2010 season.

 

Surveillance:
Currently, there is widespread influenza-like activity in New Jersey, which signifies there is flu activity in virtually every county in the state. This week’s influenza-like activity report is available at http://nj.gov/health/flu/fluinfo.shtml

The Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting three deaths in this week’s report to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The DHSS is reporting the death of:

  • A 52-year-old Gloucester county male, with no known underlying medical conditions. He was hospitalized on Nov. 10 and died on Nov. 22.
  • A 45-year-old Monmouth County male, with underlying medical conditions. He was hospitalized on Nov. 8 and died on Nov. 26.
  • A 46-year-old Camden County male, with underlying medical conditions. He was hospitalized on Nov. 21 and died on Nov. 29.

 

Including the deaths being reported to the CDC today, a total of 16 H1N1 deaths have been reported to the CDC since Sept. 1, 2009. There were 18 deaths reported to the CDC during last spring’s H1N1 outbreak.

 

Vaccine Availability:
As of Dec. 9, 2009, a total of 1,990,200 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped into NJ.

 

Facility Type 

Received Doses

County and local health departments

1,117,900

Physicians’ offices and employee health services 

481,800

Hospitals 

170,400

Community Health Centers   

59,300

Colleges and schools 

67,900

Government agency and health care facilities that serve target populations

50,800

Retail pharmacies    

41,900

Adult Clinics

200

 

Vaccine continues to arrive in New Jersey in limited shipments. The federal government has assured DHSS that they will be able to produce and distribute enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.  However, with limited vaccine available at this time, it is important to first target the individuals most susceptible to H1N1 flu. 
 
For information on the vaccine distribution system from the federal government, visit http://nj.gov/health/flu/vac_ordering.shtml.

 

H1N1 Vaccine Target Groups

It is recommended that certain target groups be the first to receive the H1N1 vaccine as it becomes available.  These groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

 

Finding a flu shot:
The following tools may be helpful for New Jerseyans seeking an H1N1 flu shot:

  • The DHSS website has two flu shot locators to help individuals find public health clinics that are being planned and will be announced when vaccine is available, as well as to find clinics with scheduled dates.
  • Contact your physician, community health center, local pharmacy, local or county health department, hospital or school. Many doctors, health clinics and schools are providing vaccine to their patients and students, while local health departments, pharmacies and some hospitals are offering clinics to the public.
  • Call New Jersey’s H1N1 Information Hotline - 1-866-321-9571

 

Antiviral Medications
The Department has entered into an agreement with all Walgreen stores and other retail pharmacies in the state to make available antiviral medications that will specifically be offered to uninsured and underinsured residents. The Department also has distributed antiviral medications to New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Walgreens and other pharmacies will provide these medications with a valid prescription. Medications received from pharmacies will cost a small administration fee. Medications received from FQHCs will be free to the FQHCs uninsured patients.
 
State Public Call Center:
A state H1N1 information call center was activated on October 6. To date, the call center has received more than 28,000 calls from the general public, healthcare providers, and others. The overwhelming majority of the calls are regarding flu vaccine and vaccine clinic questions from the general public. The call center is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The toll free number is 866-321-9571.

 

Hospital Visiting Restrictions:
Many New Jersey hospitals have restricted their visitation policy to help reduce the spread of illness. The restrictions do no allow individuals with influenza-like symptoms or those who are under 18 years of age.

The Department of Health and Senior Services supports this effort to reduce the spread of H1N1 influenza as well as other infectious diseases.
 
Communications:
The Department’s H1N1 website (www.nj.gov/health/h1n1) is the source for up-to-date information on H1N1 influenza. The website also contains videos, public service announcements, press releases, posters and flyers. The website is updated frequently, so please visit daily for new information and links.

Recently added are public service announcements from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
 
In addition, individuals can receive updated H1N1 information by following the DHSS on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FluNJ.

 
Stop the Spread:
There are certain prevention actions everyone can take to help slow the spread of H1N1 this fall and winter. These actions include common-sense measures to limit the spread of germs, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

 

Questions and Answers:

It looks like H1N1 is over.  Should people still get vaccinated?

In past flu pandemics, "waves" of activity have been observed over a year or so after a new flu virus appears, with each wave lasting 6-12 weeks.  The US experienced its first wave of 2009 H1N1 flu in the spring of 2009 and now the second wave is winding down.  Additional waves of H1N1 may occur as well as outbreaks of seasonal flu.  Because the timing and spread of flu viruses are unpredictable, the CDC is continuing to recommend vaccination with seasonal flu vaccine and 2009 H1N1 vaccine for those people for whom it is recommended.

 

My child is 9 years old and just got her first shot of the H1N1 vaccine. She will  turn 10 before the second shot is due. Does she need the second shot?  

No.  Your child does not need a second shot once she turns 10.  Two shots are only recommended for children under the age of 10.  [Note:  In this instance, "shot" and "nasal mist" are interchangeable.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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