AUBURN, Mass. — As diagnosed cases of the flu continue to rise, the Auburn Board of Health is reminding residents that flu vaccines are still available in town.
Although the flu has not reached epidemic levels, the severity is about 10 times worse than last year's mild season, according to Andrew Pelletier, Auburn's public health director.
"We estimate that by the end of December we probably had close to 400 cases in the Town of Auburn," said Pelletier.
With about 4 percent of Auburn's population ill, Pelletier said this was a "pretty significant hit."
Though the state has no supply and several pharmacies and doctors offices may be temporarily out, Pelletier said the vaccine is still being produced and can be obtained in 24 to 48 hours.
"CVS was temporarily out of vaccine, but they had put in order in. And as of Friday, they informed me the order was going to be in that night or early Saturday morning," he said.
After holding four clinics this season, the town has 75 remaining doses, Pelletier said.
"Our plan is to take registration, and every Monday we will have a mini-clinic," he added. "Depending on the call frequency, the board is prepared to purchase more."
Although the vaccine is effective, "it's not the cure-all end all," Pelletier said. He advised residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
"They nailed it head-on this year, and it's an exact match for the prevalent flu virus, but we're encouraging social distancing, minimizing handshaking and to cover coughs — preferably in the crook of your arm," he said.
Pelletier also said workers should respect their co-workers by taking sick days.
To register for the mini-clinics, residents should call the Board of Health office at 508-832-7703.