BATON ROUGE- State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry, M.D., announced today that Governor Bobby Jindal has proclaimed this week Influenza Immunization Week in Louisiana, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Influenza Vaccination Week. The text of the proclamation is included below.
Dr. Guidry also updated the status of the state's Fight the Flu campaign today, announcing that nearly 300,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been administered across the state.
The Department of Health is working with providers, health organizations, and other groups throughout the week to raise awareness of the importance of receiving influenza vaccinations, with each day focusing on a specific population as indicated by the CDC. Monday will concentrate on the general public and health care workers; Tuesday on those with chronic illnesses such as asthma, obesity and heart disease; Wednesday on children, pregnant women, and parents and caregivers of infants; Thursday on young adults from 19 to 24 years of age; and Friday on senior citizens.
"We now have a great opportunity to vaccinate before our traditional flu season starts in late January and early February," said Dr. Guidry. "The H1N1 vaccine has proven to be very safe and effective, and we have already seen a huge increase in demand for the seasonal vaccine in the past few months over typical demand. Vaccines are the best preventive measure we have to help fight the spread of disease, and we encourage everyone to get their flu shots to help protect not only themselves, but their families and friends as well."
The CDC reports that more than 60 million Americans have received the H1N1 vaccine. It is estimated that between 600 and 1,000 Louisianians die annually from influenza-related illness, and more than 36,000 Americans in total.
This Week's H1N1 Vaccination Campaign Highlights
- The week of January 10-16 has been proclaimed Influenza Immunization Week in Louisiana.
- Of the 1,902,400 doses of H1N1 vaccine the state has been allocated, the CDC reports that 996,200 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped to Louisiana as of Thursday, January 7.
- 1,332 providers in Louisiana have recorded 299,849 doses of H1N1 vaccine administered in state, as of Monday, January 11.
- The CDC reports that as of Thursday, January, 7, approximately 136 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been allocated nationwide.
H1N1 Vaccination Campaign Summary
- The H1N1 vaccination campaign is open to the public.
- People at the highest risk of acquiring the illness and of being hospitalized with the illness continue to be children under four years old and people five to 24 years old. Asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, pregnancy and obesity are leading risk factors for complications from the H1N1 flu.
- The vaccine is now available to anyone, however, target groups for the H1N1 vaccine include children aged six months through 24 years, pregnant women, front line health care workers, parents and other caregivers of children less than 6 months of age, parents and caregivers of people with physical and developmental disabilities, and non-elderly (under 65) adults with pre-existing medical conditions. These groups are considered target groups because they are at higher risk for complications from the virus or transmitting the virus to others.
- A H1N1 flu shot locator is available for public use on www.FightTheFluLA.com.
- LDH has launched a Twitter feed (FightTheFluLA) and a Facebook page to help ensure easy access to up-to-date information regarding the H1N1 virus and vaccine.
- Residents can call 2-1-1 for additional information regarding the H1N1 flu, in addition to visitingwww.FightTheFluLA.com.
Overall Influenza Activity
- There are now 1,929 total lab-confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu in the state of Louisiana.
- Estimates derived by LDH in conjunction with CDC data indicate approximately 228,000 Louisianians currently have or have had the H1N1 flu.
- LDH has confirmed zero H1N1-related deaths in the past week. Louisiana's total of H1N1-related deaths is 41.
- Louisiana has seen a noticeable decrease in influenza transmission over the past several weeks. However, residents should still take precautions and stay aware of the situation surrounding H1N1 influenza, as transmission could increase again without warning as we move into winter and regular flu season.
Text of the Governor's Proclamation for Influenza Immunization Week
Whereas, between October and December of 2009, more than 275,000 Louisianians received their H1N1 influenza vaccination as part of the state's Fight The Flu Campaign, the state's largest public vaccination campaign in decades; and
Whereas, the H1N1 influenza vaccine is now available to the general public, and the Louisiana Department of Health encourages every resident who wishes to receive their vaccination to call their health care provider, or visit www.FightTheFluLA.com to find a provider, and make an appointment to receive it; and
Whereas, vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death; and
Whereas, immunizations are one of the most important ways residents can protect themselves, their families, and their children against serious diseases such as influenza; and
Whereas, the 2009 H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza vaccines have proven to be very safe and very effective in limiting the spread of H1N1 and seasonal influenza; and
Whereas, National Influenza Vaccination Week will serve as a nationwide call to increase awareness among parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers regarding the importance of influenza vaccinations.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana, do hereby proclaim the week of January 10-16, 2010 as Influenza Immunization Week in the state of Louisiana.
DHH's Fight the Flu campaign aims to keep Louisianians healthy by promoting immunizations and good hygiene to prevent the spread of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. For more information on flu activity in Louisiana, including guidance for families and medical professionals, visit www.FightTheFluLA.com or follow the campaign atwww.twitter.com/FightTheFluLA.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visithttp://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.