County gets half the H1N1 vaccine it expected, clinics cancelled

El Paso County will receive less than half the H1N1 vaccination it expected, which means the county health department has cancelled all the vaccination clinics planned during October and November for the community.

The initial supply received last week, represented 6,100 nasal spray doses. During the next two weeks, only 14,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine are expected – and those will be reserved for organizations that employ or serve those identified as being at the highest risk for H1N1 infections and complications.

“All along, we’ve said plans are subject to change based on vaccine supply and demand,” said Kandi Buckland, public health director. “We hoped there would be enough vaccine supplies to hold the community vaccination clinics we scheduled and at the same time be able to provide vaccine to various providers in the community as they’ve been expecting. Currently this is not the case.”

Public health officials say they will plan week-by-week to get the vaccine out to the community.

County residents can still check with their health care providers to see if they are going to offer the vaccination. Supplies are still very limited.

Due to the limited amount of vaccinations available, only the following groups are now recommended to receive the swine flu shot:

– preschool children ages 6 months to 4 years
– school-aged children and young adults ages 5 to 18 with chronic health conditions
– health care workers with direct patient contact
– pregnant women
– parents and caretakers for children younger than six months.