Vaccination efforts to turn to schools
BY DEON J. HAMPTON World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 17, 2009
With children being considered at high risk for contacting the H1N1 virus, the Tulsa-County Health Department will turn its attention to student vaccinations starting Monday.
“We currently have a limited supply of H1N1 vaccine available and, therefore, will continue to target those at highest risk for complications from influenza,” Health Department Interim Director Reggie Ivey said in a press release issued Saturday. “It is expected that in the coming weeks H1N1 vaccine supplies will increase enough to broaden the scope of who can receive it.”
The health department has been working with local districts to identify schools with increasing absentee rates due to influenza. Every school in Tulsa County has been offered H1N1 vaccinations, officials said, and those wishing to participate are being identified and scheduled for vaccinations.
Students and faculty are the only persons eligible to be vaccinated at the schools. Parents will be required to sign a consent form for their children to be immunized.
Health department clinics will not be offering seasonal or H1N1 flu vaccines this week.
A 4-year-old Tulsa County boy died earlier this month of complications from H1N1 flu, more commonly known as the swine flu, state health officials confirmed last week.
Since Sept. 1, 327 Oklahomans have been hospitalized with swine flu. Of those, 208 were younger than 19. And of the 42 patients admitted to intensive care, 16 were younger than 19, officials have said.
For more information, go to tulsaworld.com/swineflu.