Yesterday at the Statewide Flu Summit, Governor Deval Patrick announced that the state has placed its first order for the H1N1 vaccine with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This initial small shipment, about 35,000 doses, will be used exclusively for health care workers – who play such a vital role in the front lines of flu season. Additional H1N1 vaccine shipments will arrive weekly throughout the rest of flu season and we anticipate that in about six to eight weeks we will have enough vaccine for local public flu clinics to begin taking place.
The Summit attracted over 800 participants from a wide range of organizations including hospitals, community health centers, local public health and public safety agencies, primary and secondary educational institutions, representatives of industry and small business, and other state and local partners.
Governor Patrick, Health and Human Services Secretary Judyann Bigby, Public Safety Secretary Kevin Burke, and DPH Commissioner John Auerbach joined numerous DPH subject matter experts to share the latest information on H1N1 and seasonal flu, along with updated guidance and resources for flu vaccination planning. Participants also had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions which focused on specific topics such as clinical management, surge capacity and challenges in school and university settings. A significant amount of time on the agenda was devoted to questions and answers from the audience.
For your reference, an archived webcast of the entire conference — including all breakout and question and answer sessions — will be available online soon. We'll post a link to this archived webcast as soon as it's available.
In addition, all audience questions from the two plenary sessions that were not answered due to time constraints will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.