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More H1N1 vaccine available


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POSTED: Friday, November 27, 2009

State epidemiologist Sarah Park says there “;will be no excuse”; for people not to get H1N1 influenza vaccinations as of next week.

Doctors and other providers are “;all going to get inundated with more doses,”; she said, explaining the supply might still be limited, but more vaccine will be available.

She said 73,800 orders were placed yesterday with most going to the big hospitals and the rest to pediatricians. Any left would go to internists, she said.

As of yesterday, she said, Hawaii had been allocated 266,400 H1N1 vaccine doses. The state Health Department allocated 95,200 doses for the school H1N1 clinics and has ordered 97,400 doses to date for providers statewide, she said.

But she said the Health Department only has documentation from providers for 35,000 doses. “;Our question is, Where are the rest of the doses?”;

She said the department has received calls from providers and distraught parents and others in priority groups for vaccine that they don't have vaccine.

“;We don't see that in the documentation. It makes it really frustrating for us,”; she said.

“;We know there are pockets of need, but we're blind without documentation,”; she said, urging doctors and others to “;report back to us so we have a better idea where to direct doses.”;

The CDC is reporting a death toll of nearly 3,900 people from H1N1, including about 540 children.

Park is especially concerned that only small numbers of children 6 to 23 months and 19 to 24 years old are getting vaccinated, because they are vulnerable groups.

She said the department does not want to hear of another death in the islands. “;We have an opportunity in Hawaii to prevent what is happening on the mainland.”;

She expressed concern that as people hear the disease might seem to be declining on the mainland and not rising in Hawaii, “;people may start backing off of getting vaccinated.”;

But if only a small part of the population gets vaccinated, she said, “;when we do get hit, we get hit really hard because not enough are vaccinated.”;