A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Pandemic Flu Preparation - Not Black Helicopters

Pandemic Flu Preparation - Not Black Helicopters

September 3, 2009

The paranoid birthers/deathers have a new imaginary danger in their sights: the efforts in Massachusetts to protect the public against the very real possibility of a serious flu outbreak.

Using phrases like "medical fascism," the far-right online world is bristling with anger. Here's an example, from the hard-right but well-read World Net Daily: "A 'pandemic response bill' currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance."

Yesterday, DPH Commissioner Auerbach sent a letter to the General Court and local and municipal elected officials. The memo debunked the false claims regarding mandatory vaccination for H1N1 influenza.

Last month, the Public Health Council approved regulations in preparation for the H1NI flu pandemic and the seasonal flu. DPH presented a plan for protecting the residents of Massachusetts against both types of flu. The department did not call for or authorize mandatory vaccination against the pandemic flu. DPH’s staff has been tirelessly working in an open way on a strategic plan so that spread of the H1N1 flu can be tracked and monitored and all agencies coordinate their efforts.

More information can be found at www.mass.gov/dph/swineflu. The reality-based community needs to respond forcefully to this assault on public health.
-Mehreen Butt