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DHS news release

Nov. 10, 2004

Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180

Technical contacts: Grant Higginson M.D. (503) 731-4000; Lorraine Duncan (503) 731-4135


More flu vaccine supplies coming to Oregon

Oregon will receive approximately 135,000 additional doses of injectible influenza vaccine over the next two months, public health officials in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) said today.


"This is Oregon's share of the nation's remaining licensed vaccine," said Grant Higginson, M.D., state public health officer in DHS. "It is being shipped from Aventis Pasteur. We expect a steady stream of supplies into mid-January, and we will allocate the vaccine to local health departments across the state as it arrives."


Higginson said these additional supplies will bring Oregon's total share of vaccine to about 564,000 doses for this year.


"This is about the amount of vaccine we thought we would get, and it is our fair share of the national supply," he said.

"We have convened an ad hoc advisory panel to help us develop principles to guide our allocation decisions," Higginson said. "We will also consult with our county health department partners to develop an allocation plan that includes the major private vaccine providers in Oregon."


The additional supplies are expected to begin arriving within the next two weeks, Higginson said. All vaccine is still restricted for use only among eight priority populations:

  • Children ages 6 to 23 months;
  • Adults ages 65 and older;
  • Anyone ages 2 to 64 with underlying chronic medical conditions;
  • Women who will be pregnant during influenza season;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • Children ages 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
  • Health-care workers who deliver direct patient care; and
  • Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children under 6 months.

Every state is receiving additional vaccine and supplies vary from state to state. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocated the vaccine using a formula that took into account the number of high-priority people in each state and the number of doses each state already received, according to Higginson.

DHS has established a toll-free flu hotline to respond to questions from the public and providers. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (800) 978-3040 statewide, or in the Portland metropolitan area at (503) 873-6900.