BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) - 18,000 doses of the first H1N1 vaccine are arriving at county health departments across Iowa Thursday. 500 doses were unpacked at the Black Hawk County health department shortly after 9:00 a.m.
This first shipment is the nasal spray, which is not recommended for some priority groups.
Pregnant women, and people with other compromised conditions should wait for the shot.
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk of the Iowa Department of Public Health says this is because the nasal spray is a live vaccine, and while the injected vaccine contains a dead virus.
The vaccine is distributed to areas of Iowa on a per capita basis. Linn County gets 800 doses in this first shipment, while Black Hawk, Johnson, and Dubuque counties each get 500.
From the health department, the vaccine is being distributed mostly to county health care providers.
Since the vaccine is being allocated and shipped to states intermittently over the coming weeks, the Iowa Department of Public Health says it is important for Iowans wanting to receive the vaccine to contact their local public health agency for information about vaccine availability.
The seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine can be given at the same time, or at any time in any sequence with one exception: if using the live nasal spray vaccine for both the seasonal flu and H1N1, they should be given four weeks apart to ensure the best protection from both vaccines.
A statewide toll-free hotline has been established for public questions about seasonal and H1N1 influenza at 1-800-447-1985. More information can also be found here.
Online producer: Adam Amdor