All Oklahomans Now Eligible for H1N1 Vaccine
OKLAHOMA CITY – State health officials are now offering the H1N1 vaccine to all Oklahomans who want to reduce their risk.
Although vaccine supplies are limited, the demand for those high-risk residents has gone down and now all Oklahomans can receive the vaccine.
"While we continue to emphasize the importance of vaccination for the priority groups, especially children and pregnant women, we are going to begin to vaccinate the general population today,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. "Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself from the H1N1 flu and slow the spread of this pandemic."
State officials say there has been a decline in hospitalizations for those with flu-like symptoms, but there could be another surge of the H1N1 flu throughout the winter months.
Since September, 890 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to complications from influenza and 27 have died.
According to a press release from OSDH, 90 percent of the H1N1-related deaths have been people under 65-year-old. This finding contrasts significantly with seasonal flu which tends to cause the greatest proportion of deaths among people older than 65-year-old.
If you would like to get an H1N1 vaccine, check with your local doctor’s office or county health department.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health expects an additional 90,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to be delivered to the state this week. The doses include both nasal spray and shot versions of the vaccines.
Call the OSDH toll-free H1N1 hotline, 1-866-278-7134, for more info. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.