First, a brief programming note: the Weekly Flu Report that usually appears in this space on Thursdays is slightly delayed this week, and will be posted here tomorrow. In the meantime, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how seasonal and H1N1 vaccines make their way from vaccine manufacturers into the community.
There are five major vaccine manufacturers who are producing flu vaccine this year. They are producing vaccines for both Seasonal and H1N1 flu, in the same time period. This has never been done before, and there have been some interruptions in the supply chain as a result. Nonetheless, these manufacturers are working day and night to produce and ship the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines in ever-increasing quantities to communities across the state and country.
All vaccine supplies are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the community-level provider, such as physician’s offices, hospitals, community health centers, pharmacies, and local public health departments. There are a couple ways to monitor when vaccine is available in your community:
- Visit http://flu.masspro.org, to find out if there are any public flu clinics planned for your area, including vaccination clinics at supermarkets and chain pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreen’s or Rite Aid.
- Keep in close contact with your health care provider to stay updated on when they expect to receive vaccine supplies from the manufacturer, and to schedule an office visit to get vaccinated when they do.
Getting vaccinated is a great way to keep from getting sick – but there are also other vitally important ways we can keep from getting or spreading the flu, including frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering our cough and sneeze with a disposable tissue or our inner elbow if a tissue isn’t handy; and staying home from work or school if we’re sick.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014