Please see the attached letter from Commissioner Auerbach that is being distributed widely within the state regarding a federal initiative to open up H1N1 vaccine availability to commercial pharmacies.
To summarize, CDC will be taking a portion of the excess H1N1 doses that have been allocated to states but not been ordered (MA does have any doses that fall into this pool since 100% of our doses are allocated and used every day) and will be distributing them directly to large national pharmacy chains (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, etc.). The pharmacies that agree to participate in this national initiative must also agree to let states know exactly how much vaccine is going to sites within their state. The goal is to make vaccine available more widely and to try and reduce the amount of vaccine that goes unused.
The CDC has pledged that none of the vaccine promised to Massachusetts and other states will be diverted to these chains. These doses are being made available above and beyond our usual allotments it will result in more doses being available in our state over the next few weeks than originally expected.
DPH is still expecting and has requested additional doses of H1N1 for providers, hospitals and local health in Massachusetts and will be getting them to you over the next few weeks.
Thank you for all your efforts and collaboration. Your partnerships have been essential in getting H1N1 vaccine effectively distributed and administered in our state.
Please share this information with your colleagues
Donna Lazorik, RN, MS
Adult Immunization Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
MDPH Flu Website:www.mass.gov/dph/flu