Brookline, Mass., stages bioterror drill

More than 100 volunteers will take part in a rapid vaccination program in Brookline, Mass., this weekend to prepare the town for a serious pandemic situation or a bioterrorist attack.

The drill, which will be observed and critiqued by officials from the Harvard School of Public Health, follows a real November vaccination shortage of H1N1 vaccine. As a result, the 100 volunteers, including approximately 40 clinicians, will use real H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine as part of the demonstration.

The goal of the test is to administer between 1,000 and 2,000 vaccinations in under three hours, which would require a minimum of five-and-a-half vaccinations per minute.

Members of the Brookline Community Emergency Response Team and Medical Reserve Corps., will also be on hand to manage the crow, which could possibly swell to as many as 3,000 people, making it CERT's largest drill in the team's six year history.

Casey Hatchett, who is in charge of the CERT program, said that the demonstration will focus on ensuring that the vaccinations, which will be distributed in two distinct locations, move in a smooth and orderly manner with participants staying in lines and move in the right direction.

Four other cities and towns - Arlington, Belmont, Newton and Watertown - will also participate in their own epidemic drills during the weekend and will provide a limited number of volunteers and seasonal flu doses.