The Harford County Health Department’s current supply of the H1N1 vaccine will be given to elementary school students today (Tuesday) at three area schools, Bel Air ES, Meadowvale ES and North Bend ES. While local health officials wait for more supplies of the H1N1 vaccine to arrive, three more Harford County pubic schools have met the benchmarks for an outbreak of influenza-like illness, suspected to be the 2009 H1N1 virus. The schools with the most recent outbreaks are: Emmorton ES, Fountain Green ES, and William Paca/Old Post Road ES.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site reports that enough H1N1 vaccine has been ordered nationwide so that anyone who wants a vaccine will get one, eventually. But supplies are not being produced fast enough to meet demand. So the CDC recommends that limited supplies be distributed to priority populations in five target groups, including young people from 6 months through 24 years of age.
The other priority target groups to receive the H1N1 vaccine are:
• pregnant women
• people who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and day care providers),
• health care and emergency medical services personnel,
• people 25 years through 64 years of age who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.
In Harford County, Wiseman said the health department is trying to reduce community exposure to the H1N1 virus by distributing limited supplies of the H1N1 vaccine to schools where outbreaks have already occurred, and where a close match exists between a school’s population and the number of doses available.
Schools Taken Off Watch List
Aberdeen Middle School, Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School and Fallston High School have all been taken off the watch list by local health officials as of October 26, 2009.
Harford County Public Schools provided the following update on the absence rates in schools where outbreaks have occurred, and provided some information on the number of H1N1 vaccines distributed: