Ok...my meeting is this afternoon, but I did get a synopsis of the HHS webcast from August 4th.
This was a public webcast off of the www.flu.gov website, so take it for whats its worth.
I am still going over it but I'll pull out a few things that you all are likely interested in.
• In terms of disease surveillance and tracking, CDC works closely with international partners and we’re learning a lot from Australia, Chile, and
Argentina. We continue to monitor very closely what is happening in the US. Based on models, approximately 1 million cases today in the US.
• Decisions about school closures are best made at the local level. Hopefully schools won’t need to close, but it is a possibility. Schools need
to think about how to keep kids learning even in the event of a closure. When the vaccine becomes available the hope is that schools will be a part
of the solution and serve as vaccination sites.
• Department of Ed. will do its best to empower local jurisdictions to make appropriate decisions. Decisions on school closures won’t be made at
the federal level. Information sharing across the country will aid decision making. Checking flu.gov is important.
Q: What can individuals do to be prepared?
A: Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if sick. Wash hands. Take care of planning at the family level-- Will I stay home to care for sick child?
Can my workplace handle high absenteeism? Know where to get information locally in your community.
Q: If you get the seasonal flu vaccine, will you need a booster?
A: No. When the seasonal vaccine is available, get it. H1N1 will become available later in the season and it will likely require two doses.
• In terms of H1N1 vaccine, President/Congress agree that we need a public, voluntary vaccination campaign. Staffing will likely come from state/
local officials. Conversations are already in the works about establishing mass vaccination sites, rather than administering vaccinations solely in
• Preparations need to be ongoing even though flu may not be in the media as frequently as it was during the spring. HHS, DHS working with
state/local partners to discuss issues from the spring.
Q: What is the best way to determine when/if a school closing is necessary?
ept. of Ed will do its best to provide as much information as possible to inform decision making, but it will need to be decided on a case by case
basis at the local level.
Q: Will there be a differentiation between guidance for seasonal flu vs. novel H1N1?
A: Seasonal and novel flu are both serious and will likely look the same in their symptoms. There is no real need to differentiate. The guidance
will be the same—stay home if ill.
Q: During a vaccine campaign, are police officers included among people who should be first to get vaccinated?
A: They are in a top tier according to the current guidance. We are continuing to revaluate the guidance over the summer.
Q: When will the vaccine information statement be available?
A: It is already on the website (flu.gov) for the seasonal vaccine and is currently being drafted for H1N1. If we had seen H1N1 before April, we
likely could have combined the strain, but we didn’t have it soon enough this year. In the future it could probably be combined in the seasonal
Q: Will there be adequate seasonal flu vaccine?
A: Yes, we believe there will be adequate supply. We have low take-up rates, particularly among some of the most vulnerable populations. If in
high-risk category, please get the vaccine and do it early.
Q: Can I receive both vaccinations at same time?
A: Yes, we are expecting that to be fine, but it’s being looked at in special study. It will be in different arms, but on the same day.
.....will post some more shortly....character limit...