Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BC is set to Roll out the H1N1 immunizations

With the Federal Government giving the final approval to the H1N1 vaccine this morning, the provincial government is wasting no time in setting up a schedule for vaccinations, using a scale of risk as its guiding principles.

Starting Monday October 26, the vaccine will be made available to the following at risk groups:

-- Health care workers, first responders
-- Pregnant women,
-- People under 65 with underlying health conditions,
-- First Nations and all who live in rural and remote communities.

The following week, starting November 2nd, it will be available to a second grouping of citizens:

--Health care workers and those at high risk who were not able to receive the vaccine in the first week and children 6 months to 5 yrs of age.

-- Household contacts and care providers of infants less than 6 months of age, and persons who are immunocompromised

In week three, starting November 9th, it will be made available to all who wish to receive it.

New research has also determined that this H1N1 shot can be administered at the same time as the regular seasonal vaccine, which will also be available at the upcoming sessions.

The immunization program will be the largest en masse vaccination in BC history, and comes at a time when concerns are rising over the upcoming flu season across Canada. Health officials are warning that a second wave of the virus has materialized across the country.

So far nine British Columbians have died from flu complications attributed to H1N1, the most recent case a young mother from Mission, she was reported to have had no underlying health concerns at the time of her passing.
Across Canada, there have been 83 reported deaths attributed to the H1N1 flu. So far in the Northern Health region, only five cases have required hospitalization and fortunately no one has passed away from their exposure to H1N1.

Northern Health will outline its flu clinic plans in the days to come, full information on the program for the Northwest will be found on their website. The Federal Goverment also has details on H1N1 from a website for the public health agency.

Vancouver Sun-- B.C. to make H1N1 vaccines available next week
Globe and Mail-- Canada approves H1N1 vaccine

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