Divvying up the doses of the H1N1 vaccine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Divvying up the doses of the H1N1 vaccine

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by John WIlmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine is scheduled to arrive in Iowa on Thursday, but don't expect to get your dose anytime soon. The state of Iowa will only receive 18,000 doses during this first round.

In eastern Iowa, Linn County will get the most with 800 doses and Black Hawk, Johnson, and Dubuque counties will each receive 500. This first round will only be available in the spray form. 

In Black Hawk County the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine will go to the Black Hawk County Health Department. The doses will then be divided between the two health care systems in Waterloo.

"We know that if the system gets overwhelmed by people with influenza the system is in danger of becoming dysfunctional or even collapsing," said Black Hawk County Health Director, Tom O'Rourke.

The Vice President of Medical Affairs for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Iowa, Paul Franke says they will give the vaccine to employees who deal with patients who are at the greatest risk of having complications. This group includes pregnant woman.

"We'll focus on our caregivers that work with the highest risk population over the over at our OB unit. Obstetrics unit is going to be important," said Franke.

Health care officials worry that some people will avoid getting the vaccine when it becomes available. The Centers for Disease Control says the vaccine is safe.

"They truly are the world's authority or vaccinations if they tell me to get my vaccination I'm going to get my vaccination. I can assure you there aren't people smarter than them," said Franke.

After medical staff, the Black Hawk County Health Department recommends that pregnant women receive the next dose of the H1N1 vaccine, but only in a form of a shot, followed by caregivers, young children, and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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