NH DHHS Sets H1N1 Vaccination Goal of 300K by Valentine’s Day

Announces Widespread Vaccine Availability Through Pharmacies and Healthcare Providers

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced that it is encouraging all Granite Staters 6 months and older to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine, with a goal of having 300,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine administered by Valentine’s Day, 2010.

“While influenza activity has been stable over the last couple of weeks, the more people that get vaccinated now the less likely it is that we will see a third wave of H1N1 flu this spring,” said Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “We now have plenty of vaccine available, and it is my hope that everyone who has not yet received it will take the time between now and Valentine’s Day to get vaccinated, as this is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against H1N1 flu.”

Over 260,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been administered across the state to date, most of them delivered at more than 400 large-scale public and school-based vaccine clinics that our partners in the All Health Hazard Regions have organized.

Now that there is sufficient vaccine available statewide, the Department’s vaccine distribution strategy is shifting from large public clinic events to smaller-scale walk-in clinics at retail pharmacies, small businesses and community organizations. The vaccine also continues to be readily available at doctors’ offices, healthcare provider clinics and hospitals throughout the state.

“We are transitioning to a distribution strategy that makes it easier for people to get the vaccine, ” said Montero. “Instead of requiring people to come to the vaccine, which was most effective when there was a limited supply, we now have enough vaccine to bring it to the people where it is most convenient for them to get it.”

Pharmacies offering walk-in H1N1 vaccination include Rite-Aid, Shaws-Osco, CVS and Walgreens pharmacy outlets across the state. A variety of small businesses are hosting vaccine clinics for their employees. Community services and faith-based organizations are also organizing clinics, as are various public and private schools, colleges, retail malls, sporting events and even ski areas throughout New Hampshire.

For information about clinics and other H1N1 resources visit www.nh.gov or call the NH Public Inquiry line between 8 and 5 by dialing 2-1-1 or 866-444-4211. Additional H1N1 resources are available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website www.cdc.gov and the US Department of Health and Human Services at www.flu.gov.