December 1, 2009
With H1N1 vaccine availability increasing, the Texas Department of State Health Services is now urging providers to target all priority groups for the vaccine. This includes the addition today of anyone 5 through 24 years of age.
The priority groups are:
- Pregnant women
- People 6 months through 24 years of age
- People 25 through 64 years of age with high-risk health conditions
- Health care workers who provide direct patient care
- Close contacts of infants 6 months or younger
These groups were established to help protect those most at risk. Providers continue to have the responsibility to determine who should be vaccinated and whether priority groups have been adequately served in their practices and communities.
People in the priority groups should check with their usual health care provider about vaccine availability or use the flu vaccine locator service now available on TexasFlu.org to find vaccine. The flu locator listing will be updated and expanded to include pharmacies and other providers as more vaccine becomes available.
Due to an initial limited national supply of the vaccine, DSHS has been using a targeted approach to vaccine distribution. In early October, Texas received its first shipments of the H1N1 vaccine and provided those initial doses to doctors serving 2- and 3-year-olds and pregnant women. Since then, DSHS has periodically expanded the target groups as vaccine supplies increased nationally.
Based on projections from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas expects to have enough vaccine in January to make it available to the general population. Texas has been allocated about 5.1 million doses of the vaccine.
(News media contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)