H1N1 Flu Virus update and Resources

[ last updated 11/04/2009 ]


H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Vaccination Updates

Dear Parents and Staff,

Flu season has arrived early this year. Because of your extra precautions of not coming to work ill and not sending ill children to school, we are keeping the spread of H1N1 and seasonal flu to a minimum.

The vast majority of H1N1 cases continues to be mild to moderate illness. Most people with a flu-like illness will recover without the need to see a doctor or take special medication. The focus of Santa Cruz County Public Health and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education Safe Schools Department is to prevent and mitigate the spread of H1N1 and other flu-like illness through a comprehensive community/school awareness campaign that includes recommendations to cover your cough, stay home when sick, wash your hands often and have your family members immunized.

Vaccine for the regular seasonal flu is available for a fee at local pharmacies, clinics and your personal health care provider. Beginning 10/21/09, the H1N1 vaccine has become available free of charge at two Public Health clinics. The clinics have vaccine suitable for all of the H1N1 targeted groups. The vaccinations are limited to residents of Santa Cruz County. Below is the list of recommendations from the health department regarding seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines.

Seasonal Flu Vaccines: People who should get seasonal influenza vaccinations each year are:

  • Children aged 6 months though 18 years of age,
  • Pregnant women,
  • People 50 years of age and older,
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions,
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu as listed above.
    • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated),
  • Healthcare workers.

H1N1 Flu Vaccines: If you would like to receive the H1N1 vaccine, please contact your health care provider first to find out if they have the H1N1 vaccine.

H1N1 flu vaccine is currently reserved for the following groups:

  • Anyone ages 6 months to 24 years.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Anyone who lives with or provides care for infants under 6 months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers).
  • Health care workers.
  • Anyone ages 25 through 64 with certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications (asthma, immunosuppression, diabetes, or heart or lung disease).

H1N1 Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV, the nasal spray) is currently reserved for the following more limited groups:

  • Healthy persons between 2 and 24 years of age, with an emphasis on children under 10.
    • Infected children shed more influenza virus and so disproportionately may spread influenza in the community.
    • Based on current information, it is recommended that children under the age of 10 receive two doses, compared to one dose in anyone 10 and older. Providing children with initial doses accelerates the date by when they can become protected.
    • Use of nasal spray instead of injection often reduces the stress of immunization for child, family, and provider.
  • People who have close contacts with infants younger than 6 months of age.
    • Infants younger than 6 months of age are too young to receive vaccine but have the highest hospitalization rates from pandemic (H1N1) 2009 disease.
  • Health care workers and emergency medical personnel.
Santa Cruz and Watsonville Health Center H1N1 Flu Vaccination Schedule
Oct. 19 – Dec 12 (Excluding Holidays and days that the clinic will be closed for county furlough)
No appointment necessary
There is No Cost for the H1N1 vaccination
Santa Cruz Health Center
1080 Emeline Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA (454-4100)Monday – Friday
Between 8-11:30 AM and 1-4:30 PM
Watsonville Health Center
9 Crestview Drive
Watsonville, CA (763-8400)Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Between 8 AM and 4:30 PMTuesday and Thursday
Between 8 AM and 7:30 PM

Visit the Santa Cruz County Health Department website for or updates on both Seasonal flu and H1N1 flu clinics.

Keep up the good health habits and stay well,

Michael C. Watkins, Superintendent
Santa Cruz County Office of Education

Download letter above in Spanish

Regional School Focused H1N1 Vaccination Clinics
(Flyer in English and Spanish)

Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Press Releases

Bulletins and Alerts

Tool Kits and Resources for School Administrators

USDA Guide on School Meals, H1N1, 7/23/09
Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Schools (Grades K-12) (CDC)
Santa Cruz County Pandemic Flu School Planning Toolkit
Health Habits, Germ Stoppers and Cover your Cough flyers

Sample letters to parents
Superintendent Michael Watkins letter to parents and community members about H1N1
English    Spanish

These are downloadable Word documents for schools to use and modify.
English sample 1    Spanish Sample 1

English Sample 2 (short)    Spanish Sample 2 (short)

School Poster: Keep Our School Healthy, from the CA Dept. of Health

School Poster: Whack the Flu/Pegale la Gripe
English    Spanish

Wash Your Hands, Lesson Plan
Flu Notification to Public Health

California Department of Education:
School Health Planning Resources

Tools and Resources for Families and Community

Stay-at-Home Toolkit

Flu-Like Illness Screening Form
English    Spanish

Taking Care of someone who is ill
Flu Checklist
Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School
Pandemic Preparedness for individuals, families and businesses

School Services of California, Inc. Fiscal Reports – H1N1 Updates

Emergency Day Waivers for H1N1 Flu ADA Losses
Updates on Procedures and Policies Regarding the H1N1 Virus
Follow Up Questions Related to H1N1 Virus School Closures

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Information Sources

California Dept. of Education (CDE)

Center for Disease Control

US Government Pandemic Flu
World Health Organization
Google maps tracking the outbreak
Follow the CDC on Twitter
Fact sheet on swine flu (CDC)
General Information about swine flu (CDC)
Red Cross Emotional Well-Being Information

Frequently Asked Questions
English    Spanish

World Health Organization FAQ
English    Spanish

For Santa Cruz County Updates and Information

Santa Cruz County Public Health Department

Local health officials are working closely with state and federal health authorities. There have been cases of swine flu in California. All of those cases have been mild to moderate and those infected have recovered. See information on cases in California and other states at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.

Information Line
Information on swine flu also is available by calling the Santa Cruz County Public Health Information Line at (408) 454-4343.

Additional Resources

Here are some links you might find helpful:
https://www.cdc.gov/ for general information about pandemic flu and other health related information;
http://www.redcross.org/ for all the information you will need to make your own emergency preparation plan;
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/ for updates on national and international pandemic influenza.

CDC website for health related travel information;
http://www.who.int/en/ for health related travel information and international disease outbreak information;
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html for general travel warnings.