MMS Flu Advisory: State Passes Emergency Regulations for Flu Vaccination

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On Wednesday, the state Public Health Council adopted emergency regulations to increase vaccination among health care workers and the public against seasonal and pandemic influenza.

The regulations promulgated by the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) require hospitals and clinics in the state to offer vaccinations to their employees, patient care volunteers and medical staff against seasonal and novel H1N1 as soon as the vaccines are available.

Additional regulations also allow the Commissioner of Public Health to license and certify additional categories of health care workers, such as dentists and paramedics, to administer vaccinations against pandemic or novel influenza pursuant to a prescriber’s order if the Commissioner issues a determination that additional health care professionals are needed for timely vaccination of the population.

DPH to allocate H1N1 vaccine

The federal government has contracted to develop enough novel H1N1 vaccine for widespread use in the fall of 2009. DPH will be responsible for the allocation of vaccine once it arrives—as early as late September—and anticipates getting it to providers within two weeks. DPH’s plan for allocation is in development.

DPH recommends vaccinating against seasonal flu early

DPH stated that 90% of the national vaccine supply for seasonal flu is anticipated to be available in August, and is recommending providers vaccinate patients against seasonal flu as soon as they receive it.

View the emergency regulations for hospital and clinic vaccination of health care workers, and for administration of vaccine.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health (August 12 and 13, 2009), Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (August 13, 2009).

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