(SAN DIEGO) With demand from high-risk groups declining and supply steadily increasing, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has announced that the H1N1 vaccine will be available to everyone starting today.
“We have been closely monitoring the demand for H1N1 vaccine and have seen a decline in interest from the priority groups at our Public Health centers and in the community,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “While there is not an unlimited supply of vaccine available, with the decline in priority groups’ interest and increased supplies available, vaccinations are now open to non-priority groups who want protection against the H1N1 virus.”
More vaccine is now available and additional shipments are expected in the coming weeks.
County residents are encouraged to contact their primary care physician since private providers receive most of the H1N1 vaccine. Residents who don’t have a primary care physician or whose doctor did not order H1N1 vaccine can get vaccinated at one of the County’s seven vaccination sites or at evening and weekend clinics conducted by local community health centers. Clinic hours may vary.
To date, 833,090 doses of vaccine have arrived in the region and another 88,900 doses are expected in the next two weeks. Currently, the County has approximately 12,000 doses that will be available at the seven public health clinics and is expecting an additional 12,000 doses. The County is also anticipating the arrival of 25,000 doses for distribution at school vaccination clinics.
Additionally, the California Department of Public Health has announced that phase three of vaccine distribution will begin in January. At this time, approximately 6-7 million more doses will be coming to the state, on average 8 to10 percent of the state’s allocation comes to San Diego. From this order, the County will plan to conduct mass vaccination clinics in mid to late January. Subsequent orders will allow for retail pharmacies and all vaccinators registered with the State to begin offering the vaccine.
Said Wooten, “During the planning stages, we estimated that 1.7 million comprised the five priority groups and that about 50 percent would be vaccinated. We have reached this estimation.”
San Diego County is not alone as other jurisdictions in California have opened up vaccinations to the general public or will be doing so in the weeks to come.