Flu clinic/drill schedule announced

The state Department of Health and Human Services has announced the times and locations of its mass vaccination clinics as part of the state’s avian flu/pandemic influenza drill.

The clinics will be held on Nov. 19 in:
o Manchester, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Parkside Junior High
o Portsmouth, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Portsmouth High School
o Colebrook, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Colebrook Elementary School

Local health authorities will distribute 5,000 doses of the typical seasonal flu vaccine. (There is currently no vaccine for avian influenza or “bird flu”.)

“We believe it is critical to prepare as if this were a real outbreak of avian flu, so our goal is to make this drill as lifelike as possible,” said HHS Commissioner John Stephen. “While the public will be able to see the mass vaccination clinics, they should know that the drill involves much more than that. We will try to test our full capacity to deal with the threat of pandemic influenza, which is the biggest emergent public health threat facing New Hampshire and the world. It’s great to have plans on paper, but you need to test them to see if they would work in a real emergency.”

Those who wish to receive a flu vaccine at one of the drill locations must be 18 years or older and have a photo ID.

For more information, call HHS at 271-4051 or visit dhhs.nh.gov. – CINDY KIBBE

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