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Hub to host free flu vaccine clinics

9/30/2009, 4:58 a.m.


“The best way to protect against seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination every year,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the BPHC in a statement. “Those people particularly at risk for serious illness if they get seasonal flu include pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with underlying medical problems.”

More than 30 public flu clinics have been scheduled to take place by Oct. 21, and the city has said that more will come.

City officials are encouraging residents at high risk for illness themselves or who routinely come into contact with individuals at high risk for seasonal flu to get a seasonal flu vaccination. While the vaccinations are voluntary, health officials are banking on an increase in inoculations to help reduce the spread of flu-like illness in the city. Seasonal flu kills an average of 36,000 Americans every year, according to the BPHC.

The seasonal influenza vaccination does not provide protection against novel H1N1. The novel H1N1 vaccine is not expected to be available until later this fall.

The H1N1 vaccine is recommended for health care and emergency medical service workers, pregnant women, people between 6 months and 24 years of age, caregivers for children under 6 months old, and adults between 25 and 64 years old who have other health problems.

In addition to getting a flu vaccination, Ferrer cited a few simple steps to help prevent the spread of flu:

•    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away, or cough and sneeze into your upper elbow;

•    Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and

•    Stay home at least four days if you are sick with flu.

Seasonal flu and novel H1N1 flu cause similar symptoms, like fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, headache, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Those who exhibit these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

Flu-related information, including an updated list of all public flu clinics, can be found on the BPHC Web site at http://www.bphc.org/flu, or by calling the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mattapan Community Health Center
1425 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: 617-898-9057
 
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center
Sullivan’s Pharmacy, 1 Corinth Street, Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-4440
 
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Faulkner Hospital Public Clinic
Blake Estates, 1344 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136
Phone: 617-983-7907
 
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Martha Eliot Health Center
75 Bickford Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Phone: 617-971-2100
 
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Brookside Community Health Center Clinic
3297 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Phone: 617-522-4700
 
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.