Friday, May 1, 2009

State Health Department Distributes H1N1 Vaccine

The Department of Public Health and Environment, which received 167,000 courses of a vaccine for the swine flu virus from the federal government, has distributed the stockpile to 13 locations around Colorado.

The location to which the drugs were transported was based on population density. The goal is to ensure a rapid delivery of medicines to any area of the state in the event of an outbreak of the H1N1 virus this year.

“The highest priority for the antiviral stockpile is to meet unmet needs in communities around Colorado,” the state's chief medical officer, Dr. Ned Calonge, said. “The antiviral drugs are primarily intended for use with severely ill patients in hospitals.”

Calonge said it that the supply provided by the U.S. government is for emergency purposes. Only public health agencies will be able to obtain the anti-viral medication. Individuals cannot have prescriptions for the vaccine filled at those agencies.

Shipments were made to storage facilities in Alamosa, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Eagle, El Paso, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Otero, Pueblo and Weld counties.

The vaccine was obtained from the Strategic National Stockpile, which is maintained by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respond to public health emergencies.