The Boston Globe reports:
State takes extra steps to
battle flu in fall
Deputizes dentists, others to help with vaccinations
Massachusetts health authorities took the unprecedented step yesterday of deputizing dentists, paramedics, and pharmacists to help administer vaccines against both the seasonal flu and the novel swine strain expected to make a return visit in the fall.
In another emergency measure, regulators directed hospitals and clinics to provide vaccine to all their workers and some volunteers, a move designed to keep the medical workforce robust and prevent doctors and nurses from making their patients sick.
The actions illustrated the intensifying sense of urgency as health authorities, hospital administrators, and clinic executives across the nation confront the prospect of providing hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine against not one but two deadly types of flu in the same season.
“It’s a huge burden of work; there’s no doubt about that,’’ said Dr. Jay Butler, director of the swine flu vaccine task force at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Massachusetts, disease specialists are expecting to provide up to 9 million flu inoculations within the next few months, three times as many as last flu season, because of the need to give two doses of swine flu vaccine.
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