With shipments of the H1N1 vaccine expected to arrive in Michigan around the middle of October, Community Health Centers are preparing to receive their supply and administer vaccines to members of their community.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has targeted priority groups for receiving the vaccine first—young people between 6 months and 24 years of age, health care workers, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months age, and people between 25 and 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza—everyone is encouraged to be vaccinated.
This week, the Federal Drug Administration approved H1N1 flu vaccines produced by four manufacturers, and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing that, as a result, there will be plenty of vaccine available for “everyone who wants it.”
As providers of comprehensive, quality primary health care for over half a million Michigan residents, the state’s Community Health Centers have long been administering the seasonal flu vaccine— and that is no different this year. Everyone needs two vaccines to be fully protected during the 2009-10 flu season, which typically begins in October, peaks in the winter, and ends the following spring. This year is atypical, however, with the emergence of the novel H1N1 flu virus, a new and very different virus that may cause more illnesses and more severe illnesses than usual.
Community Health Centers are already administering the seasonal flu vaccine. To find a Health Center near you, go to http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
For more information about seasonal influenza and the novel H1N1 influenza in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/flu.