Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"

  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold

    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".

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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia

    Pandemic Influenza

    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

    Seasonal Influenza

    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.

    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."

    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain

    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

    Pandemic Severity Index

    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at

    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.

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  • standingfirm

Vaccine Distribution and Administration – The Time to Get This Right is Now

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 16, 2008

In many states administering flu shots is hampered by regulations meant to protect health but may be having the opposite effect by restricting access to flu vaccine to the general public.

In Massachusetts we are fortunate to have a forward thinking department of public health which has enabled many pharmacies to freely administer flu shots to the general population. No prescription is necessary in Massachusetts in order to receive a flu shot. This is not the case in one state and in many states pharmacists themselves may not administer vaccines.

Pharmacists are trusted members of our health communities. We rely on them for distributing other life saving pharmaceuticals. Perhaps we should be relying on them for administering our vaccines as well – in all of our states. Now that there is enough vaccine to go around, there are too few health professionals to administer them. Adding additional numbers to the ranks of those who can administer the vaccines just makes good sense.

Anyone who has had influenza knows that it can be a serious illness that can take a long time to recover from. In the United States alone influenza kills approximately 36,000 people every year. In the past there have not been enough vaccines to go around. This is not the case anymore. Yet, many people opt out from taking these life saving vaccines. The reasons for this vary. There is a lack of understanding that flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to become effective. If you have been exposed to influenza in the mean time, you may become ill. Many blame the illness on the vaccine, this just isn’t the case. If you have been immunized and still come down with seasonal influenza you may not become as ill as you would have if you had not been immunized.

Flu Clinics

Flu clinics take the strain off of our our medical providers by reducing “well” office visits and exposure to those in waiting rooms who are already ill. Many flu clinics are “drive through”, making it even easier for us to receive these vaccines.

An ABC News article stated today that that according to the CDC “licensed manufacturers in the United States have created 146 million doses” of vaccine for this flu season. The article went on to say that according to Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, Department of Infectious Diseases, “two-thirds of the population already falls into the CDC recommendations for the flu vaccine”. The article also states that as many as 20 million or more vaccines will be discarded because they are not administered.

Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent seasonal flu. But it doesn’t work if it is not administered. In this economy wasting life saving resources is unconscionable.

According to one dated document from pharmacists in the state of Massachusetts are allowed to “offer and distribute flu vaccine to consumers on-site”. A quick call to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Division of Epidemiology confirmed the fact that both local boards of health and pharmacists in the state of Massachusetts may administer vaccines.

For citizens in states which do not allow pharmacists and local health boards to administer vaccines, there is nothing like public outcry to change policy. Call or email your local and state boards and your state representatives. Let them know that your needs are being under-served. If and when it comes time to administer pandemic vaccines we do not want to have to wait for laws to catch up with our needs. How seasonal flu vaccine is administered right now is a good indication of how any pandemic vaccine we may have will be administered. Let’s get this right, NOW.

Flu Shots Save Lives

Local Flu Shot Clinics:

Rite Aid Pharmacy 88 West Stafford Road
Stafford Springs, CT 06076 – Phone: (860) 684-9555

  • Tuesday, October 21, 2008. – 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2008 – 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

CVS Pharmacy – Palmer MA

  • Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 – 02:00 PM – 06:00 PM
  • Friday, November 14th, 2008 – 10:00 AM – 02:00 PM
  • You must be 18 years of age to receive a flu shot at this clinic.

FREE FLU SHOTS – Monson Senior Center – For Seniors 60 years and up

Call for an appointment (413) 267-4121

Watch for notices in the newspapers and on MPACT to sign up right away.  If you received a flu shot at the Senior Center last fall, you will receive a telephone call to sign up this year.  Remember, flu shots are by appointment only – no walk ins.  Why wait in line when, with a appointment, you can be in and out in 5 minutes.

One Response to “Vaccine Distribution and Administration – The Time to Get This Right is Now”

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