DOH Home  >>  Press Releases
 
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 13, 2010

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
Weekly Report for Jan. 11, 2010


 

Surveillance:
Currently, there is regional influenza-like activity in New Jersey, which signifies a decrease in flu activity throughout the state. The vast majority of states in the country are also experiencing regional activity.

New Jersey is reporting two new H1N1-related deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

They are:

  • A 58-year-oldMorris County female with underlying medical conditions. She was hospitalized on Dec. 9, 2009, and died on Dec. 10, 2009.
  • A 24-year-old Middlesex female with underlying conditions. She was hospitalized on Dec. 31, 2009 and died Jan. 6, 2010.

To date, a total of 24 H1N1 deaths have been reported since Sept. 1, 2009. There were 18 deaths reported to the CDC during last springís H1N1 outbreak.

Vaccine Availability:
More than 2.5 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped to providers. Vaccine has been ordered by more than 1,400 ship-to providers.

Facility Type

Received Doses

County and local health departments

1,305,200

Physiciansí offices and employee health services†

691,900

Hospitals†

228,200

Community Health Centers† †

86,100

Colleges and schools†

85,700

Government agency and health care facilities that serve target populations

59,200

Retail pharmacies †††

58,700

Adult Clinics

200

Vaccine for General Public:
Because of a significant increase of vaccine availability in New Jersey, the Department has recommended that providers offer H1N1 vaccine to the general public. Many public health agencies have begun to hold or are planning clinics for the general public.

National Influenza Immunization Week

The Department kicked off National Influenza Immunization Week on Monday, Jan. 11. Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh joined Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca and 50 municipal employees who got H1N1 shots at a township flu clinic.

This Friday, Jan. 15, Dr. Walsh will promote the importance of seniors getting an H1N1 shot during a flu clinic at East Orange General Hospital co-hosted by the Visiting Nurses Association of New Jersey. The event is open to the press and begins at 1 pm.

H1N1 Vaccine Target Groups
Although New Jersey is now offering H1N1 vaccine to the general public, the Department continues to emphasize the importance for people in target groups to be vaccinated because they are at higher risk for complications of H1N1. These groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Finding a flu shot:
The following tools may be helpful for New Jerseyans seeking an H1N1 flu shot:

  • The DHSS website has two flu shot locators to help individuals find public health clinics that are being planned and will be announced when vaccine is available, as well as to find clinics with scheduled dates.
  • Contact your physician, community health center, local pharmacy, local or county health department, hospital or school. Many doctors, health clinics and schools are providing vaccine to their patients and students, while local health departments, pharmacies and some hospitals are offering clinics to the public.
  • Call New Jerseyís H1N1 Information Hotline - 1-866-321-9571

Communications:
The Departmentís has launched a Facebook page as another source of information. The page Ė New Jersey H1N1 Resources Ė can be found through the Departmentís website (
www.nj.gov/health/h1n1) or through a Facebook search. (www.facebook.com).

In addition, individuals can receive updated H1N1 information by following the DHSS on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FluNJ.

The Departmentís H1N1 website continues to be the source for up-to-date information on H1N1 influenza in New Jersey. The website also contains videos, public service announcements, press releases, posters and flyers. The website is updated frequently, so please visit daily for new information and links.

Watch for the Departmentís new public service announcements with Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh, which encourage individuals to get vaccinated, stay informed and stay healthy. These radio and television announcements are on the DHSS website.

State Public Call Center:
A state H1N1 information call center was activated on October 6. To date, the call center has received more than 32,000 calls from the general public, healthcare providers, and others. The overwhelming majority of the calls deal with flu vaccine and vaccine clinic questions from the general public. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The toll free number is 866-321-9571.

Due to a significant decrease in calls on the weekends over the past month, the call center will be open Monday through Fridays only. The call center will also be closed on Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Antiviral Medications:
The Department has entered into an agreement with all Walgreen stores and other retail pharmacies in the state to make available antiviral medications that will specifically be offered to uninsured and underinsured residents. The Department also has distributed antiviral medications to New Jerseyís Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Walgreens and other pharmacies will provide these medications with a valid prescription. Medications received from pharmacies will cost a small administrative fee. Medications received from FQHCs will be free to the FQHCs uninsured patients.

Stop the Spread:
There are certain preventive measures that everyone can take to help slow the spread of H1N1 this fall and winter. These actions include common-sense measures to limit the spread of germs, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Get an H1N1 and seasonal vaccine.

Questions and Answers:

It looks like H1N1 is over.Should people still get vaccinated?

In past flu pandemics, "waves" of activity have been observed over a year or so after a new flu virus appears, with each wave lasting 6-12 weeks.The US experienced its first wave of 2009 H1N1 flu in the spring of 2009 and now the second wave is winding down.Additional waves of H1N1 may occur as well as outbreaks of seasonal flu.Because the timing and spread of flu viruses are unpredictable, the CDC is continuing to recommend vaccination with seasonal flu vaccine and 2009 H1N1 vaccine for those people for whom it is recommended. Influenza viruses are very unpredictable. Right now there is a window of opportunity for more people to get vaccinated.

What should I do if I think Iím experiencing a bad side effect of the flu vaccine?

Serious side effects are rare.If you are having a bad side effect from a flu shot, contact your health care provider immediately.In addition, you or your health care provider can report the side effect to the federal government through the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) program, which has been set up to monitor vaccine safety.

 
 
Previous Screen

 

Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Our Locations
Privacy policy, terms of use and contact form links State Privacy Notice legal statement DOH Feedback Page New Jersey Home


OPRA- Open Public RecordAct
department: njdoh home | index by topic | programs/services
statewide:njhome | services A to Z  | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-