Saturday, November 7, 2009

H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Update

At the time of this writing it is probable that many reading this update will have had a family member with influenza-like illness or knows someone who has.  As predicted at the end of last summer, the H1N1 has returned with a vengeance.  Although this illness for the most part has remained relatively mild, a larger segment of the population has become ill, with a recent spike in school absenteeism noted throughout the Commonwealth.

It was hoped that by now we would have been well on our way toward achieving our goal of vaccinating a large percentage of our community with the H1N1 vaccine.  Due to the unprecedented demand for the seasonal flu vaccine, coupled with the simultaneous production of the H1N1 vaccine, the vaccine manufacturers have simply not been able to distribute the H1N1 vaccine as quickly as expected.  

The Franklin Health Department and the Board of Health remain committed to providing the H1N1 influenza vaccine to all Franklin residents who wish to receive it.  As previously stated, the Health Department in conjunction with our medical volunteers will hold public H1N1 clinics as soon as enough vaccine is made available to do so.  At the present time the Health Department has received only a small fraction of our requested doses.  

In accordance with the guidelines mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our initial allocation of vaccine will be provided to healthcare workers with direct patient contact such as nurses and paramedics, pregnant women and children 6 months to 9 years of age.  As more vaccine is made available, we will begin vaccinating children aged 10 to 25.  Our focus on young children  is important because two doses of vaccine spaced approximately three weeks apart is required for children 9 and under.  

All public flu clinics will be advertised in the Milford Daily News and will be posted on the Town of Franklin Website.  Clinic information will also be broadcast on Franklin’s local cable television station and will be posted on the MassPro Flu website as well.  

These are certainly difficult and frightening times for parents of young children, for those who may have a compromised immune system for one reason or another and for couples starting a family.  Your concern and frustration is understandable and fully acknowledged.  We ask for your patience and your understanding as we prepare to institute our vaccination plan in the coming weeks.  

We encourage anyone with questions to contact the Health Department or members of the Board of Health at 508-520-4905, or via our dedicated influenza email at


David E. McKearney, R.S.
Public Health Director
Franklin Health Department

Franklin Board of Health

This can be found on the Franklin website

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