While the City of Ottawa has enough H1N1 vaccines for pregnant women for the foreseeable future, Ottawa Public Health is still unsure about when the next shipment of adjuvanted vaccines will come in for other priority patients.
“Ottawa Public Health has received 5,500 doses of the unadjuvanted vaccine,” said Sherry Nigro, manager of integration, quality and standards for Ottawa Public Health.
While the unadjuvanted vaccine will be made available to pregnant women when they visit the public vaccination clinics starting today, Nigro, who is also responsible for pandemic planning, said the city is in discussions with alternate service providers to set up clinics for pregnant women in the next few days.
The unadjuvanted vaccine is not expected to run low, at least not as quickly as the adjuvanted vaccine did.
“There is a significant amount of that vaccine,” said Shauna Graham, nursing manager for the vaccine clinics. “Fifty-five hundred doses will accommodate that population.”
Public health doesn’t know when the next adjuvanted supply is expected, said Nigro.
To date, the city has distributed over 100,000 vaccines to people in priority groups, she said.
While the flu assessment centres, which opened yesterday, were set up to relieve overburdened hospitals, emergency units remain busy.
“Last week, emergency volumes across the city were up 10 to 25 per cent, when we compare that to the normal volume we usually see this time of year,” said Dr. Lindy Sampson, chief of infectious diseases and chief of pandemic planning at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.