PRMC spokesperson: Vaccine reserved for high-risk patients

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

While Clovis waits for the bulk of its apportioned vaccines for swine flu, what’s showed up is going to those most at risk.

Plains Regional Medical Center is following New Mexico Department of Health recommendations for the doses it has received, said Presbyterian Healthcare Services spokesman Brad Treptow.

So far, PRMC has received 524 doses of H1N1 in either injectable or nasal mist form.

“Everyone realizes that is a small supply relative to a community the size of Clovis,” Treptow said. “What makes it difficult is this vaccine is being manufactured as we speak.”

So far, 50 percent of those doses have been administered, Treptow said. They went to those who belong in what is called the Tier 1 risk group — including pregnant women, children ages 6 months to 4 years old and health care workers in direct patient care.

The remaining 50 percent, Treptow said, will cover those who belong in the Tier 2 group, which covers all other healthcare employees. That process should take another week to complete, Treptow said, based on schedules of the individual employees.

According to a release Wednesday from the New Mexico Department of Health, there have been 124,310 doses of H1N1 vaccine ordered for the state — 2,520 for Curry County.

“As more communication comes out from the state, when more vaccinations are available,” Treptow said, “we’re going to make sure we pass that information on.”

There have been 634 hospitalizations and five deaths related to H1N1 influenza, according to the state health department.

Two Saturdays ago, Plains Regional Medical Group gave 601 vaccinations of the seasonal flu vaccine.