Maine CDC Press Release

October 1, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Will Arrive Next Week

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, Director
Maine Center for Disease Control 207-287-3270

Initial distribution focuses on young children

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) Maine Department of Health and Human Services, learned Tuesday that the first shipment of H1N1 vaccine will arrive late next week.

Dr. Dora Anne Mills said that she expects about 13,000 doses of the H1NI Live Attenuated Intranasal Vaccine to be included in these initial shipments. This vaccine, which is a nasal spray, is licensed for healthy people ages 2-49 who are not pregnant.

"In terms of the high-priority populations for H1N1, this vaccine is most appropriate for young healthy children and those who are frequently in contact with young infants," Mills said. "We are urging pediatric and obstetrical health care providers to register and submit orders for H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible."

These initial doses will be distributed primarily to pediatric health care providers and will be focused on children between age two and four and those who are healthy and under 50 who live in a house with an infant under age 6 months or provide care to an infant.

The U.S. CDC also shared a timeline for all of the H1N1 vaccine types, including the nasal spray, multi-dose vials and single-dose vials. This will help guide the ordering and distribution process, said Mills.

"Each formulation has different parameters for use," she said. "We are developing a distribution plan based on both the availability of the vaccine and the priority groups we are trying to reach. These include pregnant women, household contacts of young infants, children, young adults, health care workers and adults under age 65 with underlying health conditions.

We know communities need this information to start planning and it’s our hope to have a distribution plan completed this week."

The Maine CDC offers these reminders to mitigate the effects of H1N1:

  • Maintain respiratory etiquette:
    Cover coughs and sneezes with sleeves or a tissue. Sneezes can travel 100 miles per hour and the wet spray can radiate six feet. Droplets from an infected person can get into the air from sneezing, coughing or simply talking. They can be inhaled and infect people nearby.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer:
    This is especially important after you cough, sneeze or wipe your nose; use the bathroom; have had contact with a sick person; touch handrails, doorknobs or other things handled by many people; before eating; and after handling garbage.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth since germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay away from school or work if you are ill with a fever:
    If you are sick with an influenza-like illness (fever and other symptoms including a sore throat or cough), stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus.

For more information, visit: http://www.maineflu.gov