H1N1 vaccine available to all in Hawaii starting Monday
Hawaii health and government officials are continuing to urge everyone who wants to be inoculated against swine flu or seasonal flu to do so.
Supplies of H1N1 or swine flu vaccine have finally caught up with demand in Hawaii, said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the state Department of Health. Beginning Monday, the H1N1 vaccine will be offered to anyone in Hawaii who wants it, Fukino said.
Fukino and Dr. Sarah Park, Health Department Disease Outbreak Control Division chief and state epidemiologist, said this morning that Hawaii residents should not be lured into a false sense of security based on news reports that the swine flu outbreak appears to be easing in all but one of the states on the Mainland. Hawaii’s flu season historically lags behind the one on the Mainland, Park said.
Incoming tourists from around the globe also add to the threat of swine flu transmission in Hawaii, Park said.
Virginia Hinshaw, a microbiologist by training and chancellor of the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus, made a special appeal for young adults in the 18-to-24 age group to get vaccinated.
Toward that end, UH-Manoa will hold a mass H1N1 inoculation clinic on campus this coming Thursday. The vaccine will be available at no cost to UH students.
Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona” have issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 10-16 “Influenza Vaccination Week” in Hawaii.