Health Department Confirms More Swine Flu Deaths

Officials Say More Vaccine Arriving in State

(Little Rock) —The number of confirmed deaths from the H1N1 flu since August 1 has now risen to 18, according to reports by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Additional vaccine supplies for protection against H1N1 flu are arriving in the state, and more is on the way. People in all of the higher risk groups can begin to check with their providers to get protection from the H1N1 flu.  Over 900 facilities in the state have requested H1N1 vaccine, and vaccine is currently being shipped to some of those providers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that certain groups of people at higher risk should receive vaccine first:

pregnant women,
persons who live with or provide care for infants less than 6 months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers),
health-care and emergency medical services personnel,
persons aged 6 months–24 years, and
persons aged 25–64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

James Phillips, M.D., Infectious Disease Branch Director at ADH, said that plans for the second round of mass vaccination clinics to offer free H1N1 vaccine are being made now, and a complete listing of clinics that have been scheduled is posted at .

While more than half of the scheduled school clinics have already occurred, there are still school clinics planned in many locations around the state where children K-12, pregnant women, and siblings of school-aged children can get both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine. Parents of school-aged children should check the health department website or local school district offices for details.

Children under 10 need a second dose of H1N1 vaccine at approximately four weeks following the first dose. Children under 9 years of age who have never received flu shots before this year will also need a second dose of seasonal vaccine at that time as well. Most school districts are not planning to hold booster dose clinics for those younger children, so parents need to make plans to provide the second doses for their children.

“We know that parents are concerned now about the second doses, or booster doses, that their children under 10 years of age need to get at about four weeks following the first dose they received,” Phillips said. ”We want parents to know that their children do have some immunity from their first dose, and in the coming weeks, booster doses may be available at pediatricians’ offices, mass flu clinics, or through other private providers.  Parents are encouraged to check these various outlets.”

For more information on the flu or for clinic locations, visit our website at .