H1N1 vaccine here

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

H1N1 vaccine will be available here Monday.
Wendy Froggatte, public health nurse at the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department, said 100 doses of intranasal vaccine, containing live virus, would be dispensed from the health center’s clinic at 221 S. Jefferson Ave.
Another 100 doses of injectable vaccine will be administered to pregnant women starting Monday at The Family Physicians clinic, 1408 E. Street. Injectable vaccine contains dead virus.
The intranasal spray prompts whatever level of immunity each individual is able to develop immediately while efficacy of the injectable vaccine takes about two weeks, Froggatte said.
She assured both means were safe. To illustrate her confidence, Froggatte administered to herself a dose of the intranasal vaccine when it arrived at the health center late this week.
The intranasal vaccine will be available only to non-pregnant women and to men who live with or care for infants younger than six months. In succeeding weeks, vaccine will be available to healthcare and emergency services personnel; those 2 through 24 years; and healthy adults 25 to 49.
While The Family Physicians will be the first private provider in Allen County to have vaccine, Froggatte said the Ashley Clinic in Humboldt and Preferred Medical Associates of Iola, 401 S. Washington Ave. also would get allocations.
In early November Froggatte will conduct clinics in Allen County schools. She will schedule those at elementary schools as conveniently as possible so that one or both parents can be available, a requirement before the younger children will be vaccinated.
While the health center does not have traditional flu vaccine at this time, Froggatte encouraged anyone who had not been vaccinated this fall to do so. Every year an average of 20 percent of the population contracts influenza virus. About 200,000 are hospitalized and more than 35,000 die.
The H1N1 virus, a new strain to which people have not developed natural immunity, poses a threat and the fear of healthcare professionals is that it could run rampant in an unvaccinated population. Seven deaths from H1N1 have been recorded in Kansas this year, but only one in which the victim didn’t have prior medical problems.
Froggatte encouraged people to follow accepted medical prevention techniques: Thoroughly wash hands frequently, cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, stay home when ill and not return to work or school until fever-free without medication for 24 hours.