Response to Larry Pilarski

To the Editor:
In last week’s “Community News,” Larry Pilarski expressed concern about what he believes to be a lack of sites in Bayonne for the H1N1 (swine) flu.
There are several sites that will offer the vaccine. However, it would have been premature and irresponsible to announce places, times, and dates before we actually received the H1N1 vaccine. We did announce six sites for the regular, seasonal flu vaccinations, and will also have several locations for the H1N1 vaccines. The Bayonne Health Department, the Bayonne Board of Education, and the Bayonne Visiting Nurse Association have been working very hard for months planning a response to H1N1. Our health officer, Richard Censullo, also applied successfully for the funding to run the flu vaccine program, as was already announced through the local media.
Several physicians have ordered H1N1 vaccine through the Bayonne Health Department. Since they ordered through the Health Department, their addresses would not have shown on the site list to which Mr. Pilarski refers. There will also be an additional enrollment period starting Oct. 13 for more health professionals to obtain the H1N1 vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced various early priority groups for the H1N1 vaccine. Children will be a particular priority. Those under 10 will require two rounds of the vaccine. Those children 10 and over will require only one injection.
The Office of the Mayor has already issued a column and a press release to this newspaper about the H1N1 flu and the issues related to it. The City of Bayonne has worked hard to stay on top of this issue, as have other public agencies. As we have said previously in this publication, additional announcements will be made as more information becomes available. We thank Mr. Pilarski for his expressing his concerns about this important public health issue.

Public Information Director
City of Bayonne

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