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.
Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA posted on Apr 23
Registration for the 19th Annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference is open! This event, to be held May 20, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA attracts professionals from local public health organizations, long-term-care facilities, pharmacies, college health, hospitals, physician practices, community health centers, employers, health …Continue Reading Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse