Letter: Well-choreographed response to hepatitis scare
I want to express appreciation to the state Department of Health and Human Services for the remarkably complex and well-produced clinic at Hopkinton High School last Friday to help hundreds of people get immunized against Hepatitis A. This was done with about two days to prepare. It involved dozens of health providers and who knows how many volunteers to direct, educate and reassure the public who had responded to a story in the Monitor about the discovery of a possible exposure to Hep A at a neighboring restaurant.
The newspaper treated the situation thoroughly, calmly, with no incitement to panic, with information about a clear plan for preventive inoculation for 600 to 1,000 people who had dined at the restaurant in a specific time period. We had eaten at this restaurant just a few days before the story was published! So, we joined the lines of what felt like hundreds, who were directed and moved along expeditiously, toward the inoculation center. There was no disruption or expression of anger in the hot and humid school corridors, and the choreography was amazingly efficient!
The Department of Health and Human Services, Hopkinton High School, the professionals and the volunteers, as well as the public who waited and proceeded through the various sites with patience and general good temper, are to be commended and win our votes for a job extremely well done! We also want to address the staff of the restaurant, who had to close – we hope temporarily – during the time it was been compromised by this situation. I hope there will be a follow-up story, and that the possibility of infection has been thoroughly removed, as reports come out in the coming weeks.
PEG ALDRICH and NICKI BOURNE