Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Officials urge patience, remind patients who gets first H1N1 vaccines

State health officials are asking Louisiana residents to be patient once the swine flu vaccine lands in the state sometime in mid- to late-October.

There are between 1 million and 1.5 million residents targeted to be the first to get the H1N1 vaccinations because they are in the state’s priority groups.

“It’s probably going to take more than two months — about 10 to 11 weeks — to get the priority groups vaccinated.” said Dr. Frank Welch, medical director for pandemic preparedness for Louisiana.

He said it is important that people understand why the priority groups are going to get the vaccines first.

“One part of the group is at high risk for complications if they get H1N1, and the other group is believed to be the spreaders of the disease,” he said.

The state established the priority groups based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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