September 1, 2009
As the number of H1N1 cases steadily increase in our area, on Tuesday, Governor Tim Kaine announced measures Virginia is undertaking to protect against the H1N1 flu virus.
The state has developed an H1N1 action plan, and Kaine says vaccination will be a key part of the effort to protect Virginians. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) expects to begin immunizations among particularly susceptible groups upon receipt of the H1N1 vaccine in October. The VDH anticipates having enough vaccine to immunize everyone who wishes to protect themselves against this new flu strain.
“As we prepare for the fall flu season, we are taking reasonable and prudent steps to help control transmission of the H1N1 virus in Virginia. We will continue to focus on activities that will keep Virginians safe and healthy, especially susceptible groups such as children as they return to school,” Governor Kaine said in a statement.
The Virginia action plan concentrates on five objectives:
monitoring the transmission and behavior of the virus;
lessening the impact of the disease that it causes;
vaccination to prevent infection;
working with the clinical community to ensure appropriate care for those who are infected;
providing the public with timely, accurate and understandable information.
The Health Department is also working in consultation with the clinical community to develop a voluntary, statewide HIN1 influenza vaccination campaign. It is expected that this vaccine will become available in October through many of the same avenues that seasonal flu vaccine is provided. According to the governor, more than 2,000 Virginia physicians, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores and other vaccine providers have pre-registered for the state’s H1N1 vaccination program, signaling their initial interest in serving as a vaccination site.