Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer said he’s not worried that the province’s supply of H1N1 vaccine is ending up in the wrong arms.
Dr. Robert Strang said yesterday that while health officials are not asking for any proof that a person is dealing with a chronic illness before giving them the shot, he trusts that people will do the right thing and wait their turn.
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“We fully expect that the vast majority of people are going to understand who is in the priority groups and respect that,” said Strang. “Will some people say they’re in a risk group and not be in a risk group? Yeah, but I don’t believe it’s going to be a huge amount.”
Strang also responded to reports that several clinics across the province were offering the vaccine to anyone who wanted it, saying he wasn’t aware of any clinics making that decision, and that it would be contrary to the Health Department’s current orders.
The latest numbers released by the Department of Health on Thursday indicate the H1N1 virus is continuing to spread throughout the province, with every district health authority except Cape Breton now reporting widespread infection.
A total of 37 people were hospitalized in Nova Scotia with the virus last week, and nine of them were admitted to intensive care units, said Strang. One of those patients, a woman in her 50's from the Antigonish area, died last Friday.
According to Strang, an additional 70,000 doses of vaccine arrived in the province on Tuesday, and some doctors’ offices will also be receiving vaccine starting this week.
“But people shouldn’t expect that every doctor is going to have vaccine in their office,” he warned. “We’ll need a much larger supply of vaccine before we can get it distributed throughout the physician community.”