Logan Boss, spokesman for Northwest Georgia Public Health, said that the 10-county district that includes Floyd County received an initial shipment of 3,500 doses of vaccine.
“It’s in our district pharmacy now being refrigerated,” he said. “And right now we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to distribute it.”
Boss said children ages 2 to 4 would be among the first to get the nasal spray vaccinations, with other high-risk groups and medical and emergency officials getting the next round of vaccinations as they become available. The Health Department will offer it on a walk-in basis, while the supply lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.
If any of the vaccine is left over, Boss said he would announce the availability in the coming days and weeks.
“It’s beginning to trickle into the state,” he said. “And we expect to have more trickling in every day.”
He hoped injection-based vaccinations will begin to arrive by the end of the week. Private health-care providers that will be distributing flu shots should also soon begin receiving shipments, Boss aid.
For now, as the nasal spray vaccinations are being made available to each county’s health department, Boss urged the public to be patient as more arrives.
“Eventually there will be plenty of H1N1 vaccine for whoever wants it,” he said. “We wish the spigot were turned on fully and that we could get all of the vaccine we ordered. Unfortunately, that’s not how vaccine manufacturers work.”
Though widespread effects from the flu have yet to hit Floyd County, Boss said the virus has been at pandemic stage globally since earlier in the year.
“It’s everywhere, and that’s the important thing to remember,” Boss said.
Linda Huddleston, Floyd Medical Center’s director of infection prevention, and Lori Leonard, coordinator of Employee Health and Wellness, say the first staffers at FMC to receive the H1N1 vaccine will be the Emergency Care Center, Emergency Medical Services and physicians and frontline staff with the Floyd Primary Care Network, as these areas see the greatest number of patients.
Lisa Brown, marketing director for Redmond, said that the first round of injection-based vaccine will be distributed to staff who are responsible for emergency and critical care first, then for those involved in direct care and on a general basis as vaccine becomes available.
“That’s really kind of the order of need, but it’s dependent upon the supply,” Brown said. “If we get plenty, we won’t have to have a priority.”
Here’s a breakdown of how the first batch of nasal spray vaccine doses is to be distributed by county:
Preventing the flu’s spread
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before you eat or after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective, if needed.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school, and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Contact your health care provider if you are not feeling well and have recently traveled to areas that have high numbers of confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Northwest Georgia Health District