AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci on Tuesday declared a statewide civil emergency because of the H1N1 influenza virus, paving the way for mass immunization of Maine schoolchildren and other residents.
The emergency designation protects schools and health care providers against liability claims related to their participation in school-based vaccine clinics this fall for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu. “Maine has been proactive in its response to this new flu,” Baldacci said in announcing the proclamation. “But as the school year begins, we must continue our vigilance, which will require a responsible and aggressive vaccination and public education campaign. It’s our goal that every person in the state has access to vaccines for the seasonal and H1N1 flu.”