Additional H1N1 vaccine available

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Reports of H1N1 flu in Kansas have dropped considerably from six weeks ago, but the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said another wave is anticipated later this winter.
Wendy Froggatte, registered nurse at the SEK Multi-County Health Department, 221 S. Jefferson, encouraged people of all ages to take advantage of ample supplies of vaccine here.
Froggatte received 600 doses this week and more are expected throughout winter, when flu is likely to strike. She dispatched 100 doses to Preferred Medical Associates, 401 S. Washington, and another 100 doses to the Ashley Clinic in Humboldt. Injection at the health clinic is free, those done by private doctors may be billed to insurance, Froggatte said.
The health department offers the vaccine to walk-ins Monday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. excepting noon to 12:30, and Tuesday through Thursday by appointment those same hours. Call the clinic at 365-2191 to set an appointment.
Initially, vaccine, both nasal and injectable, was limited to high-risk groups at the health center. That no longer is true, Froggatte said. To date 1,400 people have been vaccinated in Allen County.
Health department employees will administer vaccinations today at Allen County Community College and area elementary students Thursday, Froggattte said.
A press release from KDHE said that after peaking in October, all indicators of influenza activity in Kansas had returned to baseline levels. For the week ending Dec. 5, visits to clinics for influenza-like illness had dropped to 1.8 percent, down sharply from a high of 10.8 percent six weeks earlier.
Hospital admissions, school absenteeism and laboratory surveillance for influenza have all shown similar declines, confirming the second wave of pandemic activity is over, according to KDHE.
KDHE said that after a slow start, supplies of H1N1 vaccine are more plentiful than ever. The projection is that 100,000 additional doses of vaccine will be available in Kansas each week for several weeks.
As for the safety of the vaccine, Froggatte pointed to national statistics. After nearly 64 million doses distributed, fewer than 5,000 reports of possible adverse reactions have been reported, with all but 277 reactions classified as non-serious, such as soreness at the site of the injection.