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H1N1 Vaccine Available to All (Dec. 21st, 2009)
Providers can now offer H1N1 vaccine to all if priority groups are getting immunized and supplies are adequate.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is advising local public health agencies and private health care providers that they can now offer the H1N1 vaccine to everyone, provided they have enough vaccine and they can still meet the needs of high risk patients who want to be vaccinated.
The new recommendations will take effect on Dec. 16. MDH officials emphasized that that the decision to broaden the vaccine effort needs to be made by each individual health agency or provider, based on their own needs and resources.
MDH officials emphasized that vaccinating people in high risk groups is still the first priority. Priority groups for vaccination, as identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), include people who are:
- Age 6 months through 24 years, with or without a health condition that puts them at higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
- Age 25 years through 64 years with a chronic medical condition that puts them at higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
- Pregnant women.
- Health care providers or emergency medical services personnel.
- Living with or caring for children under 6 months of age.
Currently, WSCHS has a shortage of H1N1 doses. As WSCHS receives more doses of the vaccine, it will be offered to all patients. We will keep you updated.