December 11, 2009
The Texas Department of State Health Services today announced it is opening up the state's H1N1 vaccine supply to the general public.
With supplies increasing, Texas health officials are now urging providers to offer the vaccine to the general population but to continue to ensure people in priority groups get the vaccine they need. Since early October, Texas had been targeting the limited vaccine supply to priority groups, such as pregnant women and people with high-risk health conditions, to help protect those most at risk. The expansion is consistent with the overall vaccine strategy developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We have reached a point where supply is catching up with demand. We have been looking forward to reaching this milestone, said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. With the holidays coming and the potential for another wave of illness, we want everyone to be able to protect themselves.
People who want the vaccine should check with their usual health care provider about vaccine availability or use the flu vaccine locator service available on TexasFlu.org.
Texas is providing vaccine to pharmacies, private practices, hospitals, medical clinics, employer health groups and others. Providers can determine who should be vaccinated and whether priority groups have been adequately served in their practices and communities.
Texas has been allocated about 6.7 million doses of the vaccine by the CDC. Nearly 1.2 million of those doses were allocated over the course of this week. Texas has ordered about 6 million doses as of yesterday. More orders and shipments will follow as providers confirm their orders with DSHS.
Based on projections from the CDC, Texas expects to receive nearly 13 million doses of the vaccine by January.
(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)
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