Sep 29, 2009 1:37 PM by sleonard
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reminding all providers interested in administering the H1N1 influenza vaccine to register with the state before 5 p.m., Friday, October 2.
Due to federal requirements, states are required to electronically report all administered doses of the H1N1 vaccine, which in Louisiana will be tracked through the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide (LINKS) registry system. The H1N1 vaccine provider registration is an efficient method for streamlining the distribution process and strengthening communications with vaccination partners statewide.
The state expects to receive the first shipment of H1N1 vaccine in mid-October. Doctors, hospitals, local health departments and board-certified pharmacists will be able to administer the H1N1 flu vaccine when it becomes available, after registering with DHH to receive and administer the H1N1 vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine will be controlled and distributed by the federal government in partnership with states, and will not be available commercially to providers.
Manufacturers are working to make the vaccines available to all people who wish to be vaccinated. However, initial supplies are expected to be limited. As a result, vaccine administration will be recommended first for priority groups based upon those most at risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
These priority groups include people who are more likely to spread or suffer complications from the H1N1 flu, including pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age (because these infants can't receive flu vaccines), direct care health care and emergency medical services personnel, people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people from ages 25 through 64 years with chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
The H1N1 vaccine provider registration form is found at https://linksweb.oph.dhh.louisiana.gov/linksweb/la_h1n1_registration.jsp, and must be completed in its entirety. Providers with questions may also contact the Louisiana Immunization Program at 877-799-9773.
DHH is continuing to monitor the progress of the H1N1 flu to alert the public to any significant changes that would impact the public's health. For more information on flu activity in Louisiana, including guidance for families and medical professionals, visit www.flula.com.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 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 DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.