HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) announced that the inoculation (shot) version of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza vaccine has arrived in Hawai‘i. Last week, Hawai‘i was allocated 6,700 doses of injectable MIV (monovalent inactivated vaccine) by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Orders from that first allocation began arriving in Hawai‘i today. Hawai‘i’s weekly allocation of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine continues to increase as orders are placed daily by the DOH.
The influenza nasal spray (LAIV ) version of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine began arriving in Hawai‘i on Oct. 5, 2009 and providers are continuing to administer this dosage to priority groups as defined by the CDC (see guidelines on page 2). The nasal spray vaccine can only be administered to children and adults ages 2 years to 49 years of age with no underlying medical conditions. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.
“Now that the injectable inactivated version of the vaccine is here, more people in priority groups can start receiving their vaccine,” said Health Director Chiyome Fukino, M.D. “The department is directing inactivated vaccine supplies to providers who serve priority groups which include healthcare workers, EMS and first responders involved in direct patient care, along with those at higher risk for developing serious complications from the 2009 H1N1 flu.”
“The LAIV availability allowed us to serve healthy members of priority groups under age 49,” said State Epidemiologist Sarah Park, M.D. “Now we will begin focusing on primarily pushing these H1N1 flu shotsthat have arrived to meet demand for pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and other conditions that affect one’s lung function or immune system, as well as other priority persons who cannot receive the nasal-spray version.”
The LAIV (nasal spray) contains a live, weakened virus and should not be used in pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems. The shot version contains a portion of inactivated virus and can be given to everyone. Both are safe and have been produced the same way as regular flu vaccines except that this new vaccine protects against 2009 H1N1. Members of priority groups should contact their health care provider to determine the appropriate vaccine version to receive.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, the DOH will give first priority to the following high-risk groups for H1N1 vaccination:
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact;
- Pregnant women;
- Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than age 6 months;
- All people from age 6 months through 24 years; and,
- Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
As part of statewide efforts in all counties, a total of 442 Honolulu firefighters and emergency medical services personnel were vaccinated over the weekend of Oct. 10-12, 2009 at Castle Medical Center, Hawaii Medical Center-West, Mililani fire station, The Queen’s Medical Center, and the Waikiki fire station.
Flu.hawaii.gov lists community providers offering the H1N1 vaccine to the public. The public may also receive updates on H1N1 vaccine availability by following the DOH on Twitter, at twitter.com/HIgov_Health. Information on 2009 Novel H1N1 influenza is also available by calling Aloha United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline.