Thursday, November 19, 2009

And a jab for all!

"This may mean clinics run out of vaccine and are forced to close until additional supplies are obtained, but it is preferable to have vaccine in people's arms, rather than sitting in fridges."-- Dr Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer outlining the reasons behind the latest change in guidelines for flu shot distribution in BC.

Northern Health following the lead of Dr. Perry Kendall, the provincial health officer has announced that the H1N1 flu vaccine is now available for all British Columbians.

"While we do not yet have enough vaccine to administer to everyone who is now eligible, given that our clinics are operating at less than full capacity, it is only fair to open it up to the rest of the population so that any and all British Columbians who want to be vaccinated can now do so," -- Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer

The flu shots had previously been limited to only those groups that the province had determined were most a risk, a sliding scale of qualification that seemed to be changing by the week of late.

The latest revision to the delivery guidelines take effect Friday, with the province's flu clinics opening their doors to all who wish to receive their shots. A decision that apparently was made partly because the demand for the shots at some clinics across the province was falling off as British Columbians became less anxious as the second wave of the flu seemed to peak.

Should Dr. Kendall be proven correct that there may be shortages early on with the wider distribution, relief may be but a week away, the province is expected to receive 640,000 doses late next week.

Prince Rupert's next clinic is Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm at Northern Health's Prince Rupert Health Unit in the Ocean Centre Mall.

Two more clinics are planned for next week at the same location, Thursday, November 26 from 10 am to 6 pm, and Friday, November 27, from 10 am to 4 pm.

CBC News-- All of B.C. eligible for H1N1 vaccine
Vancouver Sun-- Low turnouts lead to H1N1 vaccine availability for everyone in B.C
Vancouver Province-- H1N1 flu vaccine available to everyone in B.C. on Friday

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