Friday, October 23, 2009
Flu vaccine update from the Board of Health
• Seasonal Flu Vaccine - Last week the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) advised local health departments and health care providers of distribution delays of the seasonal flu vaccine. These delays are due to prioritization of H1N1 vaccine and associated production and distribution challenges. To date Massachusetts has received 71% of its total order of seasonal flu vaccine. Additional shipments are expected over the next 4-6 weeks with the balance of the vaccine due by the end of the year. Since seasonal flu in New England usually does not start until December and does not peak until January or February, it is expected that there will be sufficient vaccine available for the general public before that time.
• H1N1 Flu Vaccine – The Board of Health continues its planning of a local H1N1 Clinic for children ages 5 through 18. Specific clinic dates depend on vaccine availability, most likely in December. Children and young adults are the most susceptible to this new strain of influenza and are considered a priority group. Small quantities of H1N1 vaccine have been distributed to hospitals and health care providers for high priority groups which consist of pregnant women, household contacts and care givers for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, and generally for anyone from 6 months to 24 years of age. MDPH expects that there will be sufficient vaccine for the general public later in the year as vaccine distribution expands. Information on public clinics, both for seasonal and H1N1 vaccination, can be found at http://flu.masspro.org. Local information can be found on the Board of Health website at: www.carlislema.gov
• Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers– Additional volunteers will be needed to staff a local H1N1 clinic. Both medical and non-medical personnel will be needed. Trainings will be provided by the Board of Health. The first clinic will be on a weekday afternoon possibly in December with a second clinic approximately three weeks later on a Saturday morning since children under ten years of age require two doses. If you are interested in helping with the clinics or in joining the Carlisle MRC for future events, contact the Board of Health at 1-978 369-0283. Applications can also be downloaded from the Board’s website above.
© 2009 The