Burlington Board of Health plans flu vaccine Nov. 14 at high school

Margaret Smith

The town

Board of Health

expects a large turnout at its next influenza vaccine clinic, not only from town residents but residents of neighboring communities, as concerns rise about seasonal and H1N1 flu.

Board of Health Director Sharon Mastenbrook said she expects the board to distribute about 900 vaccine doses at the the clinic, set for Saturday, Nov. 14 at Burlington High School.

“Right now, there is a shortage of public clinics, so most people are asking if there is still going to be a clinic,” Mastenbrook said. “There is not a shortage of vaccination. It is more a delay in delivery.”

The clinic will held in cooperation with the Lexington and Woburn health boards, and Boston University School of Medicine Healthcare Emergency Management Program.

The seasonal flu vaccine is available to anyone over 6 months; anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

A limited supply of approximately H1N1 flu vaccines will be available for those 6 months to 24 years, and pregnant women, Mastenbrook said.

The vaccines may be available in varied forms, including nasal sprays, multi-dose vials and pre-loaded syringes.

The most suitable form depends on factor such as a person’s age or health conditions.

Mastenbrook said, in general, nasal spray is good for anyone ages 2 to 49, but not for pregnant women.

Certain health conditions can make a person ineligible for the nasal spray. Pre-filled syringes are usually best for pregnant women and infants, Mastenbrook said.

Some limits

Those who come to the clinic will have to screened to make sure they are eligible.

Anyone who is already sick is not eligible for the vaccine. Some people with certain conditions, such as egg allergies, or chronic illnesses such as Guillain Barre Syndrome, may not be eligible.

Because first-time vaccine recipients sometimes have reactions, EMTs will be on hand A physician and triage will also be available to help determine if a person is in doubt about whether they are eligible for the vaccine.

Mastenbrook does not anticipate long waits. “We have an experienced medical reserve corps. We can get people through in 20 to 30 minutes.”

Because of the widespread concern about flu, Mastenbrook said some people may arrive early, before the clinic opens. She said they may be able to wait in the high school gymnasium, but said staff preparing for the clinic will not be available to answer questions.

Mastenbrook said the board should be able to offer more flu clinics in the neature future.

“If you had your heart set on getting vaccine, and we used up doses, it doesn’t mean you would never get one. We are getting more supplies,” she said.

The details

Board of Health flu clinic for seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines

When Saturday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where Burlington High School, 123 Cambridge St., Burlington

Cost Free.

Over 65 must bring Medicare health insurance card or card from participating Medicare HMO Plan.

Eligibility Open to anyone; residency not required.

Seasonal flu vaccine for 6 months and older; under 18 must have parent or guardian

H1N1 for ages 6 months to 24 years and pregnant women

First come first served, no advance reservations.’

The clinic is not Latex-free, but steps are taken to minimize Latex exposure.

For more information visit www.burlington.org/boh or call 781-238-5353 or 781-270-1957. 

Do not call the high school.