William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services
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See our H1N1 flu information.
The first doses of H1N1 vaccine have
arrived in Contra Costa and we
expect to start providing the vaccine to
school-aged children at
49 elementary-schools within
the next few weeks.
Hello, I am Dr. William Walker, the
county health officer and director of
Contra Costa Health Services.
I'd like to talk to you about how and
when the new vaccine for
H1N1, also known as swine flu, will be
available in our county.
The arrival of some of the
vaccine is very good news.
It is available earlier than expected.
This is just the beginning of a long
vaccination effort by
health departments across the country.
Over the next weeks and months,
we will be receiving regular
shipments of vaccine and
it is expected that there will eventually be
enough for everyone who
wants to receive it.
We appreciate your patience as
we undertake this effort, and we
urge everyone to receive the vaccine because
it is the best protection against H1N1, which has
made many people sick and been related to
six deaths in our county.
Our first shipment of the vaccine is
about 7,000 doses in nasal form so
not everyone can receive it.
Only healthy people between the
ages of 2 and 49 can receive the nasal vaccine, and
the state health department has made
children a priority for receiving it.
We already had regular seasonal flu
clinics scheduled for October at
49 elementary schools so students at those
schools also can receive these initial H1N1 doses.
We know that children are more likely to get H1N1.
By starting the vaccine process with school-aged children,
we can help prevent the spread of
H1N1 in our community and help protect everyone.
We expect there to be more than 100,000
doses of the vaccine available in Contra Costa by
the end of October and more later.
As more vaccine becomes available, you will
have different options on how to get it.
You can contact your health care provider to
see if he or she will be providing the H1N1 vaccine.
When available, vaccine will be distributed to
doctors who have signed up to receive it.
Vaccine also may be available at clinics in
some pharmacies, grocery stores, and
work sites in November or December.
As more vaccine arrives, we also will be
offering it at our free community drive-through
flu clinics in November, which are intended for
people who cannot get seasonal or H1N1
vaccine from their own health care providers.
Everyone should get both the
H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines when
they become available.
The following groups of people should be
especially sure to get the H1N1 vaccine:
pregnant women, children and young adults ages
6 months to 24 years old, and
adults ages 25 to 64 who have
chronic health disorders such as
heart disease, diabetes and asthma or
compromised immune systems.
Other groups that should get vaccinated for
both seasonal and H1N1 flu are
health care workers, emergency medical services personnel and
those who care for young children under
6 months of age.
In the meanwhile, everyone can help
protect themselves, their loved ones and
their community by continuing to follow
easy prevention tips by washing hands often,
covering coughs and sneezes with your sleeve, and
staying home from school or work if sick.
To get the latest info on the
H1N1 vaccine in both English and
Spanish, visit our website at
cchealth dot org or
call our prerecorded health line
Thanks for listening.