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Joined: May 02 2009
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| Topic: BARNSTABLE
Posted: September 26 2009 at 8:02am
Barnstable County information.
Joined: June 16 2009
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|Posted: October 19 2009 at 6:31am|
Flu shots to begin at Cape hospitals
By CYNTHIA McCORMICK
October 19, 2009 2:00 AM
Hundreds of local hospital employees will be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus starting today. But state health officials do not know when the shots will be available to the public.
The state Department of Public Health is asking local health agents to indefinitely postpone any public and school-based swine flu clinics that have been tentatively scheduled for November.
"Within the past 48 hours we have been alerted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that adjustments are being made to the amount of vaccine that is expected to be available to states in October and November," DPH spokeswoman Jennifer Manley said in a Friday evening e-mail.
"We share the frustrations of the local boards of health about the need to postpone public clinics," she wrote. "We will provide additional information as it becomes available through the CDC."
Originally Barnstable had hoped to host swine flu clinics at local schools this month, said Barnstable Town Health Director Thomas McKean.
When it became apparent that H1N1 vaccine shipments would be running late, the town made tentative, unpublicized, plans to hold clinics next month after school or on Saturdays at Barnstable High School and the Horace Mann Charter School, he said.
Those plans are off for now.
"Right now we don't know when we're going to get the vaccine or how much will be in the first shipment," McKean said. He said he asked the state for 18,000 swine flu vaccine doses, with the focus being on protecting the town's 5,700 schoolchildren.
Unlike the seasonal flu, the novel H1N1 flu, also known as the swine flu, targets children and younger adults.
In the meantime, hospitals have received their first allotments of flu vaccine from the state.
Cape Cod Healthcare has received 700 doses, 400 of which will be used to inoculate employees at Cape Cod Hospital and 300 of which will go for Falmouth Hospital employees, said Cape Cod Healthcare spokeswoman Robin Lord.
The vaccines are being given to nurses, doctors and other direct patient care providers in maternity, anesthesiology, pediatrics and the emergency department, Lord said.
"They're the caretakers and the most at risk of catching and transmitting the disease," she said. Lord said Cape Cod Healthcare has asked the state for 10,000 doses.
"There are 3,900 providers throughout the state asking for this," Lord said.
Cape Cod Healthcare has no plans to distribute the vaccine to the public, she said. It's leaving public vaccination campaigns to town health boards and the Visiting Nurse Association.
Some parents want their children vaccinated while others don't, said Gina Hurley, director of student services for the Barnstable public schools. She said the decision is entirely up to parents, who will need to sign a permission slip.
The schools are making their buildings available as hosting sites for swine flu clinics "to be good community partners," Hurley said.
Not knowing when the swine flu vaccine will be available is hampering town plans to host clinics, McKean said. "It represents a challenge. This is in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine."
The town already had to postpone a second seasonal flu clinic after running out of doses following the first clinic.
The lack of information about swine flu vaccine availability just adds to the unknowns, McKean said.
If the H1N1 doses dribble in in small amounts, the town may have to prioritize who gets the flu shot first, he said.
The state already has asked providers to focus on what it considers high-risk groups, McKean said. They are children ages 6 months to 9 years; pregnant women; health care workers; caretakers of babies younger than 6 months; and household contacts of pregnant women in their third trimester.
Infants under 6 months cannot be vaccinated, so the idea is to create a "cocoon of immunity" around them by vaccinating everybody in their household, according to state officials.
The next target group would be all children younger than 19 years old, McKean said.
The need to postpone public swine flu clinics "is just a distribution issue," Manley said.
Joined: August 28 2009
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|Posted: February 07 2011 at 8:31am|
Flu activity on the rise in Mass
Today at 8:25 am
BOSTON -- There is word of more cases of the H1N1 virus in the Bay State.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 18 cases of H1N1 this flu season.
Over the weekend, it was reported a student at Cape Cod Community College contracted the virus.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said flu activity is on the rise and is expected to peak at the end of the month.
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