For Immediate Release
January 15, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas Legislators Vaccinated Against H1N1 Flu

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Jan. 10-16

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Shawnee County Health Agency hosted an H1N1 flu vaccination event involving state legislators and staff on Thursday, January 14 in Room 142 S. of the State Capitol Building in Topeka.  January 10-16 is National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Seven county health department employees vaccinated a total of 133 state legislators and Statehouse staff members during the clinic.

“Fortunately, there is now an ample supply of safe and effective vaccine to prevent pandemic H1N1 flu,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “During this National Influenza Vaccination Week, let’s all make sure that we’ve taken the step of getting vaccinated against H1N1 in order to protect our family, friends and neighbors.” 

“As students return to school, another wave of elevated H1N1 activity remains a possibility,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, Kansas State Health Officer and Director of the KDHE Division of Health. “About two-thirds of Kansans are still susceptible to the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, either because they have not yet been vaccinated or haven’t had pandemic H1N1 flu.”

“People often forget about being vaccinated against flu viruses after the holiday season, or assume that the vaccine is no longer available at that time,” said Anne G. Freeze, Director of the Shawnee County Health Agency. “Anyone who has not yet had the H1N1 vaccine administered to them should make a point of getting vaccinated.”

Since October 1, the Kansas Immunization Program (KIP) at KDHE has facilitated the shipment of more than 868,700 doses of vaccine to public health departments, health care providers and retail pharmacies across the state. More vaccine is being shipped weekly. Up-to-date information on H1N1 vaccination clinics being held in Kansas can be found by going to www.kdheks.gov and clicking on “Where can I receive the H1N1vaccine?”

The symptoms of infection with the pandemic H1N1 virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever of 100 degrees or greater, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.  Most people who have been ill with pandemic H1N1 influenza have recovered without medical treatment. However, some people develop serious complications that require hospitalization or may lead to death. 

KDHE has established a phone number for concerned Kansans to call with questions about the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus.  The toll-free number is 1-877-427-7317.  Operators will be available to answer questions from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Persons calling will be directed to press “1” on their touch-tone phone to be directed to an operator who can answer questions. Kansans can also email H1N1fluinfo@kdheks.gov, or visit www.kdheks.gov.