Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: September 15, 2009
Sen. Joe Sweeden
Sweeden Encourages Swine Flu Preparedness
Sweeden is encouraging Oklahomans to prepare for significant
increases in swine flu infections this fall. Sweeden this week praised
the efforts of the Oklahoma State Health Department, which is surveying
medical practices and labs statewide to estimate the spread of H1N1
influenza in Oklahoma. The Department has also launched a swine
flu website providing fact sheets and information regarding the
Sweeden encouraged citizens to inform themselves and take preventative
measures until vaccinations are made available. The State Health
Department this week announced that initial doses of the vaccine
could be available in Oklahoma during the first week in October.
“As with seasonal influenza, it’s important that citizens
take preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus,”
said Sweeden, D-Pawhuska. “Anyone confirmed or suspected to
have H1N1 should avoid public places and work until symptoms subside.
With young children especially susceptible to the virus, parents
must be informed and ensure their children are vaccinated.”
Sweeden noted that 450,000 doses of the vaccine are expected in
the first shipment, with weekly allotments of 250,000 to follow
immediately. The vaccines will be free to all patients, and will
be distributed by county health departments and physicians. The
vaccines will first be made available to priority groups such as
children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, pregnant women,
children with chronic health conditions and people who live with
babies younger than 6 months old. The vaccine will then be offered
to all children and adults with chronic health conditions.
Sweeden commended the State Health Department for their efforts
to increase public awareness regarding the spread of H1N1.
“The State Health Department has done a tremendous job to
provide Oklahomans with the information they need to prepare for
the virus,” Sweeden said. “At every step, they have
been prepared to handle the onset of swine flu in Oklahoma.”
Health Department officials recently announced the number of swine
flu cases in Oklahoma would likely peak in early October. Sweeden
is encouraging Oklahomans to visit the Oklahoma State Department
of Health’s website at http://www.ok.gov/health/index.html.
The site provides information on the virus, along with preventative
tips and important contact information.
For more information contact:
Senator Sweeden: 405-521-5581