Tuesday, December 1, 2009

H1N1 Mass Vaccination Clinics to Conclude This Week

The updated schedule of vaccine clinics has been posted on the Public
Health website:
For Pasadena, visit: http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/publichealth/
For Long Beach, visit: http://www.longbeach.gov/health/

Long Beach will be holding an H1N1 vaccine clinic tonight for children
ages 3-18 only:
Address: Main Gymnasium, Poly Tech High School, 1600 Atlantic Avenue,
Long Beach, 90806
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2009

H1N1 Mass Vaccination Clinics to Conclude This Week
Final push focuses on residents in priority groups for H1N1 vaccine

LOS ANGELES - Final schedules for H1N1 mass vaccination clinics were
released today by the Long Beach, Pasadena, and Los Angeles County
public health departments. The last round of public health-run vaccine
clinics will focus on a final, large scale administration of H1N1
vaccine to residents in the CDC-designated priority groups.

"As supplies of H1N1 vaccine increase, it is time for public health
departments to step back and for doctors and community clinics to step
forward in meeting the unique needs of their patients and community,"
said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health
Officer. "Residents who are in the priority groups for H1N1 vaccine
and do not have a regular source of health care are strongly encouraged
to take advantage of this opportunity to receive free vaccine."

The public health departments of Long Beach and Pasadena will also be
ending their mass-vaccination efforts. "Ending the public health-run
mass vaccination clinics in no way implies that the risk of H1N1
infection has also ended," said Helene Calvet, MD, Health Officer for
the City of Long Beach. "Residents, who are at high-risk of infection
and complications from the flu, such as pregnant women, children, and
young adults under age 24, and others in the initial target groups,
should receive the H1N1 vaccine if they have not already done so."

"Though it may appear that the H1N1 flu has peaked or that there are
fewer cases, influenza does come in waves. During the holiday season,
more individuals travel or gather in homes, shopping malls, movie
theaters or other locations, increasing the potential for illness to
spread. We strongly encourage these high-risk groups to protect their
health and the health of their loved ones by getting vaccinated," said
Takashi Wada, MD, MPH, Public Health Director and Health Officer for the
City of Pasadena.

The role of public health departments in administering H1N1 vaccine was
originally intended to target people who did not have health insurance
or a regular source of health care, and to support a broader community
outreach. With the temporary shortage caused by delays in the production
of the vaccine, public health-run vaccine clinics saw larger segments of
the population than expected.

"This has been a joint H1N1 vaccination effort between the public
health departments of Long Beach, Pasadena, and LA County. Moving from a
mass vaccination effort to a community-based effort merely marks the
successful end of the public health departments' large scale outreach,
as we planned from the beginning," said Dr. Fielding. "H1N1 vaccine
will continue to be available through private doctors and local
community health clinics and residents are encouraged to seek out these
trusted sources of H1N1 vaccine."
To date, nearly 1.2 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been delivered
to private health care providers (including doctors and community health
clinics) in Los Angeles County. The LA County Department of Public
Health has administered more than 175,500 doses of H1N1 vaccine to the
public through its 97 mass-vaccination clinics, held from October
23-November 22.

After the final mass-vaccination clinic, H1N1 vaccine will still be
available to those without a regular source of health care through
community partner clinics or a limited number of appointments will be
available at an LA County Public Health health center. For locations and
operating hours of clinics or health centers, check your local public
health department's website, visit the LA County Public Health website
at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or call the LA County
Information Line at 2-1-1.

Children under 10 years of age who received their first dose of H1N1
vaccine at one of the public health-run vaccine clinics, and are now due
for the second dose, should visit their doctor or a community health
clinic. If they do not have a doctor or a regular source of care, they
can receive their second dose of H1N1 vaccine at one of the final LA
County Public Health H1N1 vaccine clinics.

The priority groups for H1N1 vaccine are:
● Pregnant women
● People living with or caring for infants under six months of age

● Emergency medical services personnel and health care workers
● Children and young adults from six months through 24 years
● People aged 25 through 64 years with chronic medical conditions
like heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, or weakened immune

While vaccination remains the most effective tool to prevent flu
infections, there are also simple, everyday steps that everyone can take
to halt the spread of flu. These include:
● Wash your hands often.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
● Avoid close contact with sick individuals
● If you are sick, stay home from work or school

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and
improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles
County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and
services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control,
and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000
employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more
about Public Health and the work we do, please visit
http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at
http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter
(keyword: LAPublicHealth).

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