Maine CDC Press Release

September 22, 2009

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Delayed

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH
Phone: (207) 287-3270

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has learned that the scheduled delivery for the remaining doses of seasonal flu vaccine will not be as accelerated as originally anticipated, due to prioritization of H1N1 vaccine and other challenges.

This delay is being felt across the country, and other states are in the process of postponing large scale seasonal flu vaccine clinics.

“We have received about 40 percent of our overall seasonal flu vaccine supply to date and 20 percent of the pediatric supply,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Director of Maine CDC. “Remaining doses are expected to become available over the next 4-6 weeks.”

Based on national guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in preparation for H1N1 flu vaccine arriving in October, the Maine CDC/DHHS asked health care providers to begin vaccinating with seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as it became available in September. Maine CDC learned from both the manufacturer and the U.S.CDC about the delay late Monday.

“We are advising schools that have not yet received their seasonal flu vaccine supply to postpone their clinics and to consider conducting them concurrently with H1N1 vaccine clinics in mid-late October and November,” said Dr. Mills. “This way, children can receive both vaccines at the same time.”

Maine CDC recommends that all health care providers continue to vaccinate patients with seasonal influenza vaccine during routine visits and in scheduled clinics as supply allows. For Mainers who are at highest risk for complications from seasonal flu, such as seniors, those who are younger with underlying conditions or who are pregnant, they may be able to obtain vaccine from their health care provider or some community-based clinics.

“The good news is that it is still very early and we have not seen seasonal flu disease yet. In the meantime, we also expect H1N1 vaccine to start arriving in the next 2-3 weeks,” Dr. Mills said.

For more information on seasonal flu and H1N1, visit http://www.maineflu.gov