Monday, December 21, 2009
As of Tuesday, all San Diego County residents will be eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine, which previously had been administered only to those deemed at the highest risk of becoming infected by the virus.
According to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, demand from high-risk groups has declined amid a steadily increasing local supply of the H1N1 vaccine.
"We have been closely monitoring the demand for H1N1 vaccine and have seen a decline in interest from the primary groups at our public health centers and in the community,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's 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,'' she added.
Previously, the H1N1 vaccine was only being offered to those in high-risk categories, including children, adults with chronic medical conditions and caretakers of infants.
According to Wooten, it's estimated that about half of the 1.7 million San Diego County residents in the high-risk categories have already been vaccinated.
Residents were encouraged to contact their doctors to get the H1N1 vaccine. Those without a doctor, or whose physicians don't have the vaccine, can get it at the county's seven public health clinics, according to the HHSA.
To date, 833,090 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have arrived in the region and another 88,900 doses are expected in the next two weeks, according to the HHSA. About 12,000 doses are available at the county's public health clinics.