State urges care workers to register for flu shots


POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2009

The state Department of Health is urging health care providers to pre-register by tomorrow to participate in an H1N1 influenza (swine flu) vaccination program so supplies can be distributed immediately after arrival.

One of the goals is to vaccinate as many people as possible to help prevent the virus from spreading, said state Epidemiologist Sarah Park. “;We are counting on Hawaii's health care community to come together to help accomplish this huge undertaking, and are thankful for their kokua,”; she said in a statement.

Hawaii has had 10 deaths associated with swine flu since the first cases were confirmed here May 5. All but two—an adult and a child—had underlying medical problems, according to the Health Department.

Pediatricians, internists, obstetricians/gynecologists, family physicians and other primary care providers; and pharmacies, health centers, medical groups, colleges, universities and other community vaccinators are asked to pre-register online at h1n1vax.doh.hawaii.gov.

Hospitals and other health care facilities will offer vaccinations to staff and patients.

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade at participating schools have the option of being vaccinated in school clinics.

Park said the department has been sending medical advisories and meeting with community vaccinators to encourage pre-registration.

She said “;overall response has been steady”; but more registrants are needed, especially on the neighbor islands. “;The more vaccination providers we have in more locations, the easier and more convenient it will be for the public to have access.”;

Health care providers with questions about the H1N1 vaccine distribution may call 586-8300 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).