State Capitol News
10:31 am
Tue September 15, 2009

Arizona plans for swine flu vaccine

Phoenix, AZ – State health officials said today that anyone who wants a swine
flu vaccine is probably going to be able to get it -- eventually.

State Health Director Will Humble said Arizona is likely to get 5
million doses of the new vaccine. But there will only be 900,000
available in October, with the balance coming in in the following
months.

That means prioritizing, with pregnant women and those
who provide care to infants at the top -- and those older than 65
at the bottom. Humble said, though, the state isn't going to
monitor how private doctors use their share.

"Especially in November, they're going to have to look in their
refrigerator and see, look, I've got 400 doses for my practice.
That's all I can really expect, let's say, in November. I'm going
to have to use this wisely on my patient population. And we're
giving them guidance in terms of using that on their priority
groups. But we also expect them to use clinical judgment."

Humble said that means if an older patient has a chronic
respiratory condition the doctor remains free to decide that
person should get one of the doses. That priority does not bother
Gov. Jan Brewer who turns 65 this week.

"From everything we've heard, it doesn't really affect the
elderly as bad as it does the younger children. So, with the
vaccinations coming out in the manner in which they are, we feel
that we ought to vaccinate those children."

And Brewer said she doesn't mind waiting her turn in line.