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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
February 24, 2010

Matthew D'Oria
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
H1N1 Weekly Update: Week of February 22, 2010


 

Surveillance:
Currently, New Jersey is reporting sporadic influenza-like activity in New Jersey, which is a decrease in activity from last week when the state had local activity. Sporadic activity means that influenza-like illness or confirmed influenza cases are occurring in scattered instances across the state. Most states in the country are experiencing local or sporadic activity.

There were no H1N1-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in this week’s report.

Vaccine Availability:
As of Feb. 23, more than 2.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped to providers. Vaccine has been ordered by more than 1,400 ship-to providers.

Facility Type

Received Doses

County and local health departments

1,327,000

Physicians’ offices and employee health services 

722,000

Hospitals

237,500

Community Health Centers   

90,000

Colleges and schools 

85,700

Government agency and health care facilities that serve target populations

60,400

Retail pharmacies*    

59,000

Adult Clinics

200

 

* An additional 68,699 doses were directly provided by the CDC to seven large retailers/pharmacies in NJ as of January 22, 2010.

Vaccine for General Public:
Because of a significant increase of vaccine availability in New Jersey, the Department recommended in mid-December that providers offer H1N1 vaccine to the general public.

H1N1 Vaccine Target Groups
Although New Jersey is now offering H1N1 vaccine to the general public, the Department continues to emphasize the importance for people in target groups to be vaccinated because they are at higher risk for complications of H1N1. These groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Finding a flu shot:
The following tools may be helpful for New Jerseyans seeking an H1N1 flu shot:

  • The DHSS website has two flu shot locators to help individuals find public health clinics that are being planned, as well as to find clinics with scheduled dates.
  • Contact your physician, community health center, local pharmacy, local or county health department, hospital or school. Many doctors, health clinics and schools are providing vaccine to their patients and students, while local health departments, pharmacies and some hospitals are offering clinics to the public.
  • Call New Jersey’s H1N1 Information Hotline - 1-866-321-9571

Communications:
The Department’s has launched a Facebook page as another source of information. The page – New Jersey H1N1 Resources – can be found through the Department’s website (
www.nj.gov/health/h1n1) or through a Facebook search. (www.facebook.com).

In addition, individuals can receive updated H1N1 information by following the DHSS on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FluNJ.

The Department’s H1N1 website continues to be the source for up-to-date information on H1N1 influenza in New Jersey. The website also contains videos, public service announcements, press releases, posters and flyers. The website is updated frequently, so please visit daily for new information and links.

Public service announcements with Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh encourage people to get vaccinated, to stay informed and to stay healthy. These PSAs are also being shown at supermarket checkout counters throughout the state. These radio and television announcements are on the DHSS website.

State Public Call Center:
A state H1N1 information call center was activated on October 6. To date, the call center has received more than 33,000 calls from the general public, healthcare providers, and others. The overwhelming majority of the calls deal with flu vaccine and vaccine clinic questions from the general public. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The toll free number is 866-321-9571.

Antiviral Medications:
The Department has entered into an agreement with all Walgreen stores and other retail pharmacies in the state to make available antiviral medications that will specifically be offered to uninsured and underinsured residents. The Department also has distributed antiviral medications to New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Walgreens and other pharmacies will provide these medications with a valid prescription. Medications received from pharmacies will cost a small administrative fee. Medications received from FQHCs will be free to the FQHCs uninsured patients.

Stop the Spread:

There are certain preventive measures that everyone can take to help slow the spread of H1N1 this fall and winter. These actions include common-sense measures to limit the spread of germs, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
 
 
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