November 4, 2009

Winnipeg Health Region Expanding Eligibility to the Original Priority Group

Line-ups now short at all 12 H1N1 Immunization Clinics

All twelve of the Winnipeg Health Region's H1N1 immunization clinics are experiencing low turnout this morning. As a result, the Winnipeg Health Region has decided to expand the eligibility criteria to include the initial priority group. It includes:

  • Children aged six months to under five years old;

  • Anyone of Aboriginal ancestry;

  • Disadvantaged individuals (for example, the homeless);

  • People living in remote or isolated areas;

  • People under 65 with a chronic medical condition or other risks including severe obesity, substance abuse or alcoholism;

  • Anyone with a weakened immune system or those who live with or care for them;

  • Those who live with or care for infants under six months old;

  • Single parents or anyone solely responsible for a dependent;

  • Health-care workers and medical first responders; and

  • Pregnant women.

Both vaccine with and without adjuvant is now available at all clinics. Only pregnant women will be eligible to receive the vaccine without adjuvant. The Winnipeg Health Region has approximately 4,300 doses of vaccine without adjuvant.

The number of doses of vaccine with adjuvant that are now available is higher than originally estimated (now at 12,000 doses), for two reasons: when the region cancelled its staff immunization clinics, a much larger amount of vaccine was returned from the various sites and facilities than initially expected; as well as the large number of children who were vaccinated over the course of the campaign (children require only a half dose of vaccine and take longer to vaccinate).

The region is also expecting to receive its third shipment of about 8,000 doses of vaccine with adjuvant later this week. The clinics will remain open until the region runs out of vaccine.

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