County health officer Karen Furst said because of limited supplies, the nasal spray vaccine will be limited to children from 2 to 9 years old.
She said health officials want to get children protected as soon as possible, noting a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s a very effective vaccine and some studies are showing that it may be more effective in children than the shot,” Furst said. “It’s nice for the young children because they don’t have to get another shot in the arm.”
Furst said that those who have health insurance should contact their doctor about vaccinations for their children. Shots and nasal spray vaccines should be available in the next couple weeks for adults, infants younger than six months old and people who regularly take care of infants. Furst said the nasal spray is effective for adults through the age of 49.
“From now on, every single week, shipments will be made to anyone who has ordered the vaccine,” she said. “In the next few weeks, we’ll be getting more than just the nasal spray.”
Those who lack health coverage or can’t afford the vaccine through their provider can visit a county health services clinic, Furst said. The vaccinations will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In Tracy, the clinic at 205 W. Ninth St. will be open every Tuesday (except the third Tuesday of the month) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The vaccinations cost $20 for adults and $15 for children, though health department document notes that no one will be turned away if they can’t pay. Medicare part B is accepted at the clinics. There are also clinics in Stockton, Lodi and Manteca.
According to the state department of public health, there have been 78 documented cases of hospitalization because of H1N1 flu and three deaths in the county, as of Sept. 26. State-wide, there have been 2,510 hospitalizations and 188 deaths.
For information: 831-5930
•Contact Tracy Press reporter Justin Lafferty at 830-4269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.