The Washington Post’s Rob Stein had a great article in Sunday’s edition of the Post, that encapsulates the nation’s challenge in vaccinating against the H1N1 Swine Flu virus, called “Swine Flu Campaign Waits on the Vaccine”.
Be sure to click that link and read the whole story. It will keep you up to date, and perhaps give you some ideas on your own response plans.
We’re also urging our clients to monitor public health efforts in states like Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, whose school calendar begins weeks earlier than the rest of the nation. The return to classes in early August has already triggered a massive up-tick in the number of reported cases, especially in Alabama.
Events in these areas may offer a glimpse into what the rest of the nation can expect a bit as Fall arrives. So far, the virus remains mild, and has not mutated to any great extent since it was observed in the Spring. On the West Coast, some mutations that offer the virus immunity to anti-viral medication has been observed, but that mutation does not appear to be wide-spread at this point.
The bad news is that vaccine production is behind schedule, with at least 1/3 of the projected doses for October likely not to be ready. And it remains to be seen how the public will react to the news that they may require up to three vaccinations to fully protect them from both the seasonal flu, and H1N1 Swine Flu.