Press Release

EMERGENCY INFLUENZA VACCINE AVAILABILITY NOTICE

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has informed the Canton Board of Health that a very limited amount of flu vaccine may become available within the next few weeks for distribution among Massachusetts health care providers including private physicians and hospitals as well as boards of health. Most importantly, MDPH has revised the “At Risk” list so that more stringent criteria have been issued for obtaining a flu vaccine.

The Canton Board of Health has been taking the names of Canton residents who are considered “At Risk”, in the event that flu vaccine becomes available. However, given the extreme shortage of available flu vaccine, not everyone who is at risk on the Board of Health’s list, or who meet the MDPH criteria will be able to receive a flu shot from the Canton Board of Health. Individuals who have already submitted their names to be put on a waiting list for flu vaccine who do not meet the revised MDPH criteria will also be unable to receive flu shots.

To be eligible for flu shots from the Canton Board of Health, you must be a resident of Canton who is:

  • 75 years of age or older (NOTE: MDPH has changed the age for seniors from 65 years to 75 years)
  • 18 years of age or older* and has one or more qualifying chronic medical conditions requiring frequent or ongoing medical management.

            The following chronic conditions are not qualifying conditions:

1. Diabetes in patients who are between the ages of 18 and 49, who are treated solely by diet and
                 exercise and not with regular medication

                        2. Hypertension (high blood pressure)

                        3. Hyperlididemia (high cholesterol)

                        4. Arthritis

                        5. Dermatitis

6. Any other condition that does not increase the risk of complications from   influenza

            *The Canton Board of Health does not vaccinate children under the age of 18. For vaccinations of this age group, parents should bring their children to their local physician.

  A doctor’s note is required for individuals under the age of 75 which states that the individual meets the MDPH guidelines. Individuals will be notified via phone for clinic location and will be required to sign a statement thatt hey do meet the Canton Board of Health criteria described above.

 The Canton Board of Health appreciates your patience and understanding during this flu vaccine emergency.  The Board of Health will update the Citizens of Canton as more information becomes available.