Flu season is upon us and the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley wants to prevent the spread of this uncomfortable and sometimes fatal illness. Through five free flu vaccine clinics in communities throughout the Upper Valley, we recently provided over 1,100 free flu vaccines to youth and adults.
As with all Public Health Council initiatives, this was a collaborative effort. We want to thank our many partners. Dartmouth-Hitchcock generously donated all the regular and high dose vaccine given. Thirty-four students from the Geisel School of Medicine volunteered over 140 hours of time to administer the vaccines. The Public Health Council’s Medical Director, Bill Boyle, supervised the clinics. We are also grateful to current and former members of our Board of Directors who helped at the clinics. We also received critical support from Plainfield Caring Neighbors, Mascoma Community Health Center, Rivendell Academy students, HealthHUB School Clinic, Upper Valley Medical Reserve Corps, and Vermont Law School for staffing the clinics.
Most importantly, we want to thank the 1,100 people who came to get their flu shot for protecting themselves and their loved ones from this preventable illness.
Flu is deadly, but preventable
The flu results in approximately 12,000 to 56,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Hampshire last year, there were 47 influenza-related deaths, including two pediatric deaths. The good news is that flu can largely be prevented with annual vaccines. If you missed one of our vaccine clinics, flu shots are still available from your primary care provider or at various local pharmacies.
The Public Health Council is dedicated to protecting and promoting the health our communities. Whether we are preventing illness, building innovative oral health programs, or expanding summer meals programs for children, we are always bringing people together to find solutions that work for our region. It is our pleasure to serve the Upper Valley.