NORWICH – Chenango County has received an $103,000 emergency preparedness grant and 400 doses of the H1N1 vaccine from the state health department, but nobody’s been inoculated yet.
Public health officials plan to distribute the vaccine and set up clinics in a stepped system, beginning first with school districts and followed by providers who want the vaccine for their patients who are pregnant or who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months of age.
Chenango County Department of Public Health Director Marcas Flindt said the department is waiting to amass enough vaccine and meeting with school districts to discuss procedures.
Emergency medical services personnel would receive care after the schools, followed by individuals ages 6 to 24, and then by people ages 25 to 64 who have medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for influenza.
While there were no cases confirmed in the county at present, Flindt said he’s certain that swine flu is here. Data collected by an official reporting group of health care providers from across the state confirmed that there were 284 cases of H1N1 in New York and only five cases of the seasonal flu.
“Seasonal flus haven’t appeared yet,” he said. “It’s almost all swine flu.”..