SPRINGFIELD–(ENEWSPF)–October 14, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a public health emergency proclamation in a proactive effort to ensure there are enough certified and licensed health care professionals able to administer the H1N1 flu vaccine. This gubernatorial proclamation allows the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to permit additional certified and licensed health care professionals to administer the H1N1 vaccine.
“Safety and public health are of the utmost importance,” Governor Quinn said. “While this proclamation does not indicate an increase in the spread or severity of flu in Illinois, it allows us to vaccinate a larger number of people in a short period of time.”
During this emergency period, the following health care professionals will be able to administer the new H1N1 vaccine:
- Emergency Medical Technicians (intermediate and paramedic levels are able to vaccinate)
- Pharmacists (can administer to persons 9-years old or older)
- Advanced practice, registered and licensed nurses
- Medical residents
- Physician assistants
- Properly trained and supervised pharmacy, nursing and third or fourth year medical students
“Typically 10-20 percent of the population is infected with the seasonal flu annually. The absentee rates could more than double when adding the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu strains together,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. “To ensure there will be enough people qualified to administer an H1N1 flu shot, we have modified the scopes of practice for several medical professionals.”
The new H1N1 vaccine continues to be delivered to providers in Illinois, which include local health departments, hospitals, physician offices, and pharmacies.
The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated five priority populations that should receive the new H1N1 vaccine first:
- Pregnant women
- Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than six-months of age
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- All people from six-months through 24-years of age
- Persons aged 25-64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza
To find where and when the new H1N1 vaccine will be available in your community, contact your local health department or log onto Ready.Illinois.gov.
To stay healthy and limit the spread of flu, remember the 3 Cs:
CLEAN – wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
COVER – your cough and sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, not your hand.
CONTAIN – contain your germs. Stay home if you are sick.