First H1N1 Shots Arrive, But Demand Outstrips Supply

Health care providers in south-central parts of Indiana are rushing to administer the few shots of the H1N1 vaccine they’ve received.

This week, many of Indiana’s county health departments received their first shipments of the injectable H1N1 vaccine. Health care providers in south-central parts of the state are rushing to administer the few doses they’ve received.

Vigo County Health Department spokeswoman Megan Bland said her county is receiving small shipments of the H1N1 vaccine every week, but not enough to distribute to anyone besides health care workers at this time.

Right now we are just asking the public to listen to the media, whether that’s T-V, radio or reading the newspaper,” Bland said.  “We will be releasing information to the media once we begin immunizing those target populations.

Those “target populations” include pregnant women, children from six months to twenty-four years old and people living with or caring for children under the age of six months.  Despite high demand, Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill said it’s important health care workers are first in line.

“We want to vaccinate our health care workers so they can be at work and take care of those who are ill, regardless of what is causing their illness,” she said.  “And we also don’t want them bringing infection to someone at the hospital or their medical facility. And pregnant women and young children are being hit hard with H1N1, so that’s why we’ve gotten vaccine out to them first.”

Once more vaccine arrives, Caudill said Monroe County will hold clinics for people who want the shots. The State Health Department has a Web site dedicated to the H1N1 virus, which includes a listing of which counties currently have the vaccine and which do not. The department also has a toll free hotline available for the public to ask questions about H1N1 and vaccine availability.

Jessica Gall Myrick

Originally from West Lafeytte, Ind., Jessica Gall Myrick moved to Bloomington in 2002 to run cross country and track for the IU Hoosiers and never left. She has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's in Journalism from Indiana University.

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