H1N1 vaccine expected next week

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 3, 2009

The long-awaited H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive sometime next week, according to state health officials.

Locally, Troy Regional Medical Center is expected to receive some vaccines next week.

“The state health department is releasing to TRMC 200 units of the adult vaccination and 100 unites of the pediatric vaccine sometime next week,” said Doris Robinson, infectious control nurse at the hospital.

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Robinson said the hospital will administer the vaccine on a first-come, first serve basis.

“Some of the adults will probably we used for employees. If any of the employees desire,” Robinson said. “I’m sure when we get them. They will send instructions.”

Some local doctors are expected to get their share too.

At Pike Internal Medicine, Cheryl Dichiara said they are expected to get some of the vaccine next week.

“They are supposed to be released next week,” Dichiara said.

Some are still waiting to find out if they will be included in the first batch, including Charles Henderson Child Health Center.

“We have ordered 700 doses, but we don’t know when we are getting them yet. They haven’t confirmed,” said Tammy Ellis, a registered nurse.

Other doctors’ offices aren’t going to get the vaccine.

At Dr. Todd Pearlstein’s office, they have not requested the vaccines and at Dr. Phylecya Cheatham’s office they have not ordered any.

“We not going to order them,” said Vernon Crowe of Dr. Cheatham’s office. “We’re probably going to rely on the health department to give our patients the vaccine.”

Earlier in the week, the Alabama Department of Public Health opened up Internet portals for physicians to place order for the first 45,000 doses of the vaccine.

State public health spokesman Jim McVay said doctors are sending their requests for the doses that will be shipped next week, possibly arriving by the end of the week.

“We had over 1,000 providers who said they wanted it, so we are anticipating a large response,” McVay said.

Physicians can order what they think they need and the department will dispense doses as they come in.

“They’ll get what they ordered over a period of weeks or months,” McVay said.

According to McVay, the first vaccine to arrive will be nasal spray, which has been approved for individuals 2 to 49 years of age.

The second shipment will include 31,000 doses of the injectable vaccine and another 23,000 of the nasal mist.

Initial reports were that the vaccination would require two doses, but State Health Officer Don Williamson said earlier in the week that only one immunization will be required for people over 9 years old.

*The Associated Press contributed to this story.