Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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Home H1N1 Flu Information
H1N1 Flu Information

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The best thing we can do is focus on what we can control – preventing the spread.

As more people get sick, we know the situation feels more urgent.  More vaccine earlier would have been the ideal, but it is coming and it will make a difference for the community through the winter and subsequent years.   

In the meantime, we’re underscoring simple things -- like personal hygiene and social distancing – as preventive measures to protect the community. 

 Stay home if you’re sick!

The best thing you can do for everyone’s sake is to stay home when you are sick. 

We know it’s a cultural change for people used to toughing it out, but it’s not about you anymore; we know you can slog it out.  It’s about limiting the exposure of the people in your professional and social networks, and their children or elderly parents. 

Not everyone works for a place where this is easy – we know that.  So changing the culture will also require that we encourage employers to set the example – leaders should reward people for staying home, and companies should offer adequate sick time so there’s no financial penalty for doing the right thing.

Limited quantities of the vaccine mean serving the most in need first.

You may hear that the vaccine has come to Franklin County, but it may take a few more weeks before it’s widely available.  As the vaccine comes in we are distributing it based on the CDC recommendations

In the CDC’s words:  “This limited supply is reserved for people at especially high risk for flu, which includes pregnant women, children, caregivers of infants and healthcare workers with direct patient contact.”

Officials and Volunteers across the Franklin Region are ready. 

Our emergency preparedness planning efforts are paying off – our teams are trained and fully resourced to open a series of free flu clinics across the county.  Many of these clinics will be in the public schools where officials have been truly cooperative in this public health response.

The MDPH blog says the number of doses of H1N1 vaccine in the state to exceed 1 million by the end of November.  As the vaccine arrives, we’ll publish a detailed schedule.

Students and young adults will be among the first to get the vaccine.

Young people are more susceptible to Swine Flu (H1N1). Those born after 1985 have no prior immunity to this virus and are being hit the hardest.

Luckily, for now, the H1N1 virus does not seems as lethal as it did when it first appeared last spring, but it is a very unpleasant flu that comes with fever, chills and sometimes with diarrhea and vomiting as well. The impact on individuals, families and our community will be huge if large numbers become sick. 

In their own words, “You so don’t want this…”

Together we can fight this flu.

We are focusing on community immunity and hoping that the majority of our most vulnerable citizens will chose to become vaccinated and “Flu Proof,” when the vaccine becomes available.

The best way to protect seniors from Swine Flu is to keep their grandchildren from getting it and spreading it.

The vaccine has gone through rigorous clinical testing. 

The CDC fully tested this vaccine before releasing it to the public, following the same process they use every year for the seasonal flu. 

And please remember that this is entirely voluntary and no child will be inoculated without a parent’s permission.  In people over ten years old, the CDC has determined that a single shot will do. Those under ten will need two to produce the protective antibodies. 

Everyone has a role in preventing the spread of Swine Flu.

Basic hygiene continues to be the most effective thing we can all do to prevent the spread of Swine Flu.  Wash your hands, cover your mouth with tissues or cough (and sneeze) into our elbow, and stay home from work or school if you are sick.

Media Plan – How we’re getting our messages out.

1.  Facebook Fan Page (Flu Proof in Franklin County)

2.  Public Speaking – events, radio interviews, etc.

3.  Posters/Branding

4.  Weekly “Hero” campaign

5.  DPH television and radio market PSA buys

 

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