Upham's Corner Online

Free Flu Clinics Provided in Public Health Emergency

In response to the dramatic rise in cases of the flu in Boston, Mayor Menino has declared a public health emergency and the Boston Public Health Commission has authorized many clinics throughout Boston to maintain “flu clinic” hours this weekend to offer free flu shots.  Everyone who has not yet been vaccinated is encouraged to do so immediately.  Immunity from the flu viruses takes approximately two weeks.

The Uphams Corner Health Center including a total of 21 clinics throughout the city will be maintaining special free flu clinic hours during the weekend of Jan 11-Jan 13.  For scheduled hours, click here.

Public Health Emergency Declared

On January 9, 2013, Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a public health emergency in Boston as the latest reports show an increasingly severe flu season.  Since October 1, the unofficial start of the flu season, there have been approximately 700 confirmed cases of flu among Boston residents, a ten-fold increase when compared to the 70 cases confirmed all of last flu season.  The flu season in Boston typically stretches through the end of March. 

“This is the worst flu season we’ve seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously,” Mayor Menino said.  “This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I’m urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family.  If you’re sick, please stay home from work or school.”

Wunderground provides a Flu Activity map  which is regularly updated and based on the Centers for Disease Control FluView map.  The only difference is that the Wunderground map is a lot more colorful and more interesting to look at.

Flu Map by Wunderground

CDC (Centers for Disease Control) Influenza Summary Map

CDC Flu Map

What is Seasonal Flu?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), seasonal influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by influenza viruses, which infect the respiratory tract (i.e., the nose, throat, lungs). While common cold only mildly infects the respiratory tract, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.

Typically in the United States, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent seasonal flu, says the CDC, is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year.

Flu vaccines protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and an H1N1 virus. Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year. Get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in your community. Immunity sets in about two weeks after vaccination.

Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Steps In

The Boston Public Health Commission is urging people to contact their primary care doctor to get a flu vaccination, which can be administered as a shot or as a nasal spray.  Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated against influenza.  Boston residents that need help finding where to get vaccinated can contact the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, or the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4500 after hours.

Tips to avoid getting sick or spreading germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. If water is not nearby, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can spread this way.
  • As much as possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you have a fever or feel ill, stay home.

Free Flu Clinics Offered Jan 11-13

Twenty-one community health centers across the City have committed to providing free public clinics Fri Jan 11 through Sun Jan 13.

The Uphams Corner Health Center (415 Columbia Rd) will be holding free flu clinics on both Friday and Saturday.
  • Fri, Jan 11, 1pm-4pm
  • Sat, Jan 12, 9am-1pm

A complete schedule of all flu clinics through January and February can be found at the BPHC website: 

BPHC Calendar of Flu Clinics

You may also call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050, or visit bphc.org/flu.


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Posted: January 11, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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