/Health District to Offer H1N1 Flumist Only as of Friday

Health District to offer H1N1 FluMist only as of Friday

Injectable vaccine supply to be replenished

October 21, 2009

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District announced today that due to demand for the injectable vaccine and delivery delays, it will be offering only the intranasal vaccine beginning Friday, Oct. 23, at its 625 Shadow Lane public health center. FluMist will be available to members of the CDC-recommended priority groups who qualify for the vaccine. In addition, a clinic scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24 has been postponed. The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine is free of charge. For additional information visit www.SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org or www.snhd.info or call the Nevada Helpline, (702) 759-4636 (INFO).

The health district is reassuring the public that more deliveries of injectable vaccine are expected and supplies will be replenished within seven to 10 days. There is an ample supply of FluMist and it is recommended for people in the priority groups who are able to receive it.

Additionally, there are physicians and health care providers in the community who have received supplies of the vaccine. People who fall into the priority groups can contact their health care provider to see if the vaccine is available.

“We have found that many people who meet the guidelines for the inhaled vaccine have opted not to receive it. Because of this, we have used many more doses of the injectable vaccine that could have been given to pregnant women and children with underlying medical conditions who cannot use the inhaled mist,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, chief health officer.

The FluMist vaccine is a live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) version of the immunization that is safe for healthy people between the ages of two and 49 who are not pregnant. Currently the health district is offering the intranasal vaccine to the following priority groups:

  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact
  • Children between the ages of 2 and 4

“FluMist is available, it is free, it is tested and it is an excellent immunization. There are misunderstandings about the inhaled vaccine that are unfounded,” said Sands. “The 2009 H1N1 vaccines, both the inhaled and injected versions, are manufactured the same way and they are well tested.”

The mist has been administered to the public for five years for seasonal flu. It is recommended for most health care workers and there are no reports of transmission of influenza virus to patients in health care settings.

Until adequate immunization rates for H1N1 are achieved, the best way to prevent influenza is to practice good health habits. This influenza season, there are two different immunizations available to protect against illness: the new 2009 novel H1N1 vaccine as well as the seasonal flu vaccine.

As more vaccine becomes available, the health district anticipates that it will continually expand the number of people who will be eligible to receive the immunizations. The health district’s seasonal flu supply, which is different, is available and in adequate supply for everyone.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.