School vaccination program suspended

School vaccination program suspended

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by Edgar Linares
Idaho's NewsChannel 7

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 21 at 3:21 PM

BOISE -- The Central District Health Department announced today that is has suspended all H1N1 vaccinations in Treasure Valley schools.

Students in Boise and Meridian school districts began receiving the vaccine Monday, but now they are on hold.

Central District Health spokesman Dave Fotsch says they have run out of the vaccine and are waiting for more.

The CDHD was expecting about 1,300 more doses on Monday, but they never received it.

Now the health department has no choice but to suspend all school vaccinations.

Schools will finish vaccinating students with the doses they have left.

There were nine groups that left the health department with about 190 flu mists each, and they are expected run out long before the end of the day.

The reason behind this is the Centers for Disease Control announced last week that vaccine production is low and is less than they projected.

There is now a nationwide vaccine shortage.

What this means is that Central District Health is now redefining who will get the vaccine and who will be left out come Saturday when the points of distribution or PODs open up.

"We expected some vaccine to come in. It didn't come in. We're not sure what else is coming in this week. So we're forced just to curtail this and reevaluate our entire planning system and then focus on people who are truly at risk with the most serious complications of the flu," said Fotsch. 

 

Here are the new priority groups that can still get the vaccine:

- Pregnant women

- Caregivers with children 6 months and younger

- Medical personnel who deal with patients

- Children 6 months to 4 years

- Children with chronic illnesses 5 to 18 years

 

 Here are the groups no longer considered priority for vaccinations:

- The biggest group left out is people 25-64 years old with a medical condition

- Healthy children to 4 to 17 years

 

Officials say 5,200 kids got vaccinated on Monday at local schools. The health department had hoped to vaccinate 10,000 children.

The program to vaccinate more students could pick up later, but that wait could be all the way until December.

CDHD is also working on a plan to have a private provider vaccinate students in private and charter schools, but that plan is also dependent on vaccine availability. 

Additional information can be found on the CDHD website www.cdhd.idaho.gov and by calling the Flu Hotline 321-2222.

We've also learned that Southwest District Health has canceled its vaccination clinics on Friday in Nampa and Tuesday in Homedale.

The Saturday clinic at the old Sportsman's Warehouse in Nampa is still on, but the health department is expecting long lines and advises you to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

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