Statement issued Monday:
Now that the local and national surveillance indicates that fewer cases of H1N1 are occurring, the Fort Wayne – Allen County Department of Health has recommended that local hospitals may lift their visitor restriction policies and student internship program limitations.
"We very much appreciate the hospitals' quick and measured response to the Department's initial request to limit patient exposure to potentially infected young persons visiting the hospitals," says Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan. "We understand that such policies can be difficult to implement due to the potential hardship on families visiting their ill relatives and the hospital staff due to a reduction in teen volunteers and interns. However, the hospitals' obvious commitment to the well-being of their patients was evidenced by their immediate response to the Department's request when transmission of H1N1 virus was wide spread in the community."
Though the restrictions are recommended to be lifted, visitors should continue to exercise good judgment and refrain from visiting people in the hospital if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
H1N1 vaccine will be available today, Monday, November 16, and Tuesday, November 17, at the Carew Medical Park Clinic.
The clinic will be open from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on both days.
Nearly 20,000 people have been vaccinated for H1N1 flu since the clinic opened on Oct. 9. Parkview Health is providing space for the clinic at Carew Medical Park, 1818 Carew St. The vaccines are free. Children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Individuals within the following priority groups are currently eligible for H1N1 vaccination:
- pregnant women
- people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age
- children and young people from 6 months old to 24 years old
- adults age 25 through 64 with chronic health conditions
- health care and emergency medical services personnel
Anyone experiencing symptoms of influenza should stay home and contact a health care provider. People can also limit the spread of flu by covering their cough and washing their hands.
For more information, go to www.FightTheFlu.org or call 2-1-1.
Vaccines available at the Carew Medical Park clinic
H1N1 vaccine (injectable)
- For pregnant women
- For children age 6 months through 18 years of age
- For persons of any age who live with or provide care for infants less than six months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
- For adults age 25 through 64 with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease
- If a person is ill with a fever, he or she cannot get the vaccine
- For healthy children and young adults 2 to 24 years of age who do not have underlying health conditions
- For persons up to age 49 who live with or provide care for infants less than six months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
No adult older than 49 can get this vaccine
Pregnant woman cannot get this vaccine
If a person has had any live vaccine such as the MMR, Varicella (chickenpox) or the seasonal flu mist vaccine in the last 28 days, he or she cannot receive the H1N1 FluMist vaccine
Children under the age of 10 will need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, four weeks apart, to be fully protected. Children under the age of eighteen MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If accompanied by a legal guardian, notarized paperwork must be provided at time of vaccination to verify legal guardianship status.