BATON ROUGE – State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry, M.D., today held a press briefing to update influenza activity in Louisiana as well as the state’s H1N1 vaccination campaign. Dr. Guidry emphasized that as the H1N1 vaccination campaign moves forward, it is important for Louisiana families to be patient if their provider has not yet received the H1N1 vaccine, as more vaccine is arriving every week. Residents should stay in contact with their provider as to the vaccine’s availability and to make an appointment when the time comes.
This Week’s Highlights
· The CDC reports that approximately 79,400 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped to Louisiana as of Wednesday, October 14.
· The state has ordered a total of 180,100 doses on behalf of providers since vaccine became available.
· 259 providers in Louisiana have received vaccine.
· 3,945 doses have been administered thus far.
· The first doses of injectable vaccine are arriving now, with pregnant women and frontline health care workers serving as the initial target groups for injectable vaccine.
· DHH has launched a Twitter feed and a Facebook page to help ensure teenagers and young adults, both of which fall into high-risk groups for H1N1, have easy access to up to date information regarding the H1N1 virus and vaccine. You can follow the campaign on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FightTheFluLA and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fight-The-Flu-LA/154425074450.
H1N1 Vaccination Campaign Summary
· Additional shipments of H1N1 vaccine are expected every 5-10 days for the next 2-3 months, with pregnant women, front line health care workers, and adults with pre-existing medical conditions as the next target groups for vaccination.
· Every Louisianian who wants the vaccine should have access by the end of January.
· Residents should check with their providers regarding the availability of H1N1 vaccine, and DHH will be posting a link on www.FightTheFluLA.com showing which providers across the state have received vaccine in the coming weeks.
Overall Influenza Activity
· There are now 1,557 lab confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu in the state of Louisiana.
· Estimates derived by DHH in conjunction with CDC data indicate approximately 105,000 Louisianians currently have or have had the H1N1 flu.
· DHH has confirmed four additional H1N1-related deaths in the past week: two adult males from Region IX (St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, and Livingston Parishes), an adult female from Region IV (the seven-parish area including Lafayette), and an adult female from Region VIII (the 12-parish region including Monroe). The total number of H1N1-related deaths in Louisiana is now 24.
DHH’s Fight the Flu campaign aims to keep Louisianians healthy by promoting immunizations and good hygiene to prevent the spread of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. For more information on flu activity in Louisiana, including guidance for families and medical professionals, visit www.FightTheFluLA.com or follow the campaign at www.twitter.com/FightTheFluLA.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.