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715 NW Dimmick Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Phone: (541) 474-5325
Fax: (541) 474-5353
Contact: Michael Weber - Public Health Director
Email: 
Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm M-Th (Closed 12-12:30 for lunch), Closed Fridays, WIC 7:00-5:00 M-Th (Closed for lunch 12:30-1:00pm), Closed Fridays
H1N1 (Swine) Flu Vaccine Information

Josephine County Public Health continues to receive on-going shipments of the H1N1 vaccine.  Josephine County Public Health is holding on to approximately 30% of each shipment for public vaccination clinics, and re-distributing 70% of the doses to local health care providers.  Check back frequently for H1N1 flu vaccination clinics at the health department, or check with your local health care provider for vaccine availability.  Vaccine doses available through the health department are of the inactive, injectable kind suitable for both children and adults.   

 

To date, Josephine County Public Health has distributed the doses to those providers and agencies dealing with populations identified as priority by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), or those that work directly on the front line with H1N1 such as hospital staff or EMS personnel. 

 

As outlined by the CDC, those priority groups are:

  • 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, children 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,
  • front line state and local law enforcement officers and firefighters who have or are likely to have recurring physical contact with the public as a routine part of their usual work,
  • correctional personnel in state prisons, local jails, and juvenile correctional facilities who come in physical contact with adult or juvenile offenders,
  • public safety emergency telecommunicators including 911 and line dispatchers, and
  • active service members in the Oregon National Guard.

The Josephine County Health Department strongly urges those citizens falling within the priority group to contact their local health provider to see if the vaccine is available (through their local health care provider) and to schedule an appointment for vaccination.  Josephine County Public Health continues to follow CDC guidelines in recommending that all people within the priority group get vaccinated against H1N1 at their earliest possible convenience.  Pregnant women are especially urged to get vaccinated against H1N1 as they currently represent a disproportionate number of cases requiring hospitalization.     

 

   

Additional shipments of the H1N1 vaccine are expected in the coming weeks, and currently the Josephine County Health Department is averaging one new shipment of H1N1 vaccine per week.  As more vaccine becomes available, Josephine County Public Health will continue working with providers to distribute the vaccine where needed within the community.

Vaccine production and distribution is also taking longer than originally planned.  “Vaccine production is pretty complex, and is taking longer than we would hope,” sated Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  Both the Oregon Public Health Division and the Josephine County Public Health Department are asking people to be patient in waiting for further shipments and distribution of the H1N1 vaccine.  It is expected the bulk of vaccine doses slated for Josephine County Public Health Department should arrive by mid-November. 

 

In the meantime, the Josephine County Health Department strongly urges all people to continue following the basic guidelines for combating H1N1, which include practicing social distancing (stay home when you are sick), frequent washing of hands, covering your cough and sneeze, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest.  Josephine County Health Department is also asking local business to not require at this time a doctor’s note in order to return to work.         

Vaccine Q & A

Q:  If a person is over 65 but has chronic health conditions, would they be in the priority group for the H1N1 vaccine?

A:  According to the CDC, that person would not be in the initial priority group. We anticipate that soon there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.

Q:  Can a person get the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines the same day?

A:  Yes, unless they wish to get both vaccines in live attenuated form. They can have one live attenuated vaccination and one injectable vaccination, or they could have two injectable vaccines doses.

Q:  If a person has had the flu should they still get vaccinated?

A:  Yes. Unless the person has had a PCR test specific for H1N1 there is no way to verify what strain of the flu they had.

Q:  If a person has used antiviral medications within the last 14 days, should they get a flu vaccine?

A:  If a person has used antiviral medications within the last 14 days, they should receive the injectable flu vaccine (H1N1 or seasonal); not the live attenuated form.

You are encouraged to get your seasonal flu vaccination as early as possible.  That vaccine is available now.  This will give you protection from those three strains of flu and will help your health care provider make a diagnosis and provide treatment should you become ill.    

 

For more information on the H1N1 flu vaccine and priority target groups, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ and click on either Vaccination Q & A or Latest Vaccine Recommendations.  For further information or questions, contact the Josephine County Public Health Department at 474-5325.

 

 



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