Section 5A. Whenever the commissioner determines that the inoculation of the general public by, or the administration to the general public of, any antitoxin, serum, vaccine or other analogous product is essential in the interest of the public health and that an emergency exists by reason of a shortage of such product, the department may purchase, produce and distribute such product under such conditions and restrictions as it may prescribe; and while such emergency exists, as determined by the commissioner, the department may establish by written order or orders, rules and priorities for the distribution and use of any such product within the commonwealth. Whoever violates any provision of any such order shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
The department, with the approval of the executive office for administration and finance, may, for the purpose of aiding in national defense in case of war or in any national emergency declared by the president, prepare and distribute without as well as within the commonwealth, and sell or give away, in its discretion, antitoxins, serums, vaccines, viruses and analogous products applicable to the prevention or cure of diseases of man, for the use of the armed forces of the United States or in civilian defense work. This paragraph shall not curtail any powers or duties of the department under section five.