Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) transferred 2,000 doses of the flu vaccine Fluzone to the Boston Public Health Commission Friday (Oct. 29), announced HUHS Director David Rosenthal. The additional doses will help local communities ensure that their most at-risk residents are vaccinated against influenza.
“We were fortunate to have ordered well and felt we should morally and ethically do this,” says Rosenthal, adding that the transfer will assist the Boston Public Health Commission in its efforts to dispense flu shots in a fair and equitable way to those who request them. HUHS sold the doses of flu vaccine at cost. HUHS made a similar transfer of flu vaccines to the city of Cambridge last year.
“Harvard University Health Services has provided a real service to the community by reallocating its supply of flu vaccine,” said John Auerbach, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “These doses of flu vaccine will go to good use in preventing flu among vulnerable populations.”
The transfer comes as health officials nationwide are struggling to cope with a dramatic shortage of the flu vaccine due to production difficulties. Because of the shortage, the Centers for Disease Control has directed that existing flu vaccine supplies be given this fall to protect people who are at greatest risk from serious complications from influenza. That population includes the elderly, young children, pregnant women, those with chronic lung or heart disorders, residents of chronic care facilities, and others.
Healthy people 2 to 74 years of age are asked to postpone or skip getting a flu shot this year so that available vaccine can go to protect those at greater risk for flu complications.