MMS Flu Advisory: H1N1 Vaccine in Massachusetts

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H1N1 vaccine has begun arriving in Massachusetts. The state Department of Public Health (MDPH) reports it has received 3.1% of what Massachusetts will receive over the next 3 to 4 months. The state is allocating the doses it is currently receiving, and those it will receive in the next 3 weeks to clinical sites. By the end of this week (October 9), all Massachusetts hospitals and community health centers, many pediatric care providers, and some obstetric care providers will have received small quantities of H1N1 vaccine.
After October 23, MDPH expects to allocate a significant percentage of H1N1 vaccine to local health to allow public clinics to begin in November.
As of 10/7/09, 2,191 sites registered as primary sites to receive H1N1 vaccine. These primary sites registered an additional 1,604 secondary sites.
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the CDC H1N1 websites for additional guidance on H1N1 vaccine.

Influenza-Like Activity in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the current ILI (influenza-like illness) activity level is ‘regional,’ defined as ‘Outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI and recent laboratory confirmed influenza in at least two but less than half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in those regions.’ Thirty-seven states are reporting ‘widespread’ activity indicating flu or ILI in at least half of the regions of the state.
In Massachusetts since April 2009, 184 people with H1N1 have been hospitalized and 12 have died. Of those deaths, 10 had underlying conditions. Over 63% of H1N1 cases have been aged 18 or younger; the median age is 14 and cases have ranged from 0 to 84 years old.

Handling and Administration of Seasonal and H1N1 LAIV

The updated Handling and Patient Administration of Live, Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) video is now available on Watch the video to learn how the intranasal vaccine works in the body, how it is stored, and how it is administered to eligible patients. The instructions in this video apply to both seasonal and H1N1 LAIV.�

H1N1 Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) Available

Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) dated October 2, 2009 for injectable and intranasal vaccine for 2009 H1N1 Influenza are available in English online.
Click here for the VIS for injectable 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine.
Click here for the VIS for intranasal 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine.

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Availability

Although manufacturers have produced 114-115 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine, some providers are experiencing shortages, and either have not received their full shipment, or are unable to order more. This may be due to significantly increased demand for vaccine, delays in some shipments of vaccine, and slightly (3%) lower production than originally projected.
Providers who have not received their preordered vaccine:
• If your vaccine is supplied by the state, contact the DPH Immunization Program at 617-983-6828.
• If you privately purchase vaccine, contact your distributor.
• If you purchase directly from Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi expects to deliver every customers’ full reservation of Fluzone vaccine, but will communicate specific shipping information to customers only after doses are available and ready to ship.
New Orders of Seasonal Flu Vaccine
Few sources are currently taking new orders for vaccine, but that as double-booked orders open up, doses are expected to once again become available.
To find out what distributors have  vaccine in stock, check the online spreadsheet maintained by the National Influenza Vaccine Summit, which is co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association. The spreadsheet lists distributors with flu vaccine currently in stock, and their contact information.

Public Flu Clinics

If you are unable to accommodate your patients’ requests for a seasonal flu vaccination, they may be directed to, a database of public seasonal flu vaccine clinics in Massachusetts, searchable by zip code or town.

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