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To date, DPH has distributed over two million doses of the H1N1 vaccine — enough to protect the vast majority of our highest risk residents against the H1N1 flu. Recently, we have received several large shipments of vaccine, and we expect to continue to receive additional large amounts in the near future. As a result, we will begin to offer the vaccine to all residents who wish to receive it, although our focus will remain on vaccinating members of the priority groups. We have also asked local public health departments to begin planning large-scale public flu clinics open to all residents.

Although some towns may have already scheduled clinics for high-risk groups in the coming weeks, and they may decide to open them to all comers, we expect many more open clinics will be offered in early January. While each town will be able to begin offering open clinics at different times, we completely trust the judgment of each local public health department to determine when and how to schedule these clinics.

As these clinics are planned they will be posted on http://flu.masspro.org and we encourage everyone to check back often for updates. All public clinics will offer the vaccine free of charge; however if you do have insurance, we encourage you to bring your insurance card. This will help defray costs incurred by local officials in holding clinics. In any event, please be assured that no one will be charged or turned away.

While the amount of flu we are seeing in the state has dropped in recent weeks, we very well could see another spike in illness in the coming months. Therefore, we encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as a clinic is available near you. In the meantime, please continue to practice good health hygiene. This includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into your elbow instead of into your hand, and washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after you cough or sneeze.

We encourage all residents to utilize the comments section on this blog to engage with us and each other. While we cannot respond to every comment or question directly, we find them very helpful to understand your questions and concerns and plan for future posts.

Written By:


Communications Office

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