This story below hasn’t gotten much play yet in the media, but know that it will. Here in Asheville, it will be fascinating to watch how it will play out.
Federal public health officials are extremely worried about how the swine flu, which may grow stronger during the traditional flu season. The public health officials say they’ll have a swine flu vaccine ready in October, and they really want all school children to get the shot. The seasonal flu vaccine would be a separate shot.
They’re talking about doing shot clinics in schools. The program would be voluntary. But if people don’t get their kids vaccinated, and the swine flu takes off, you could have lots of school children getting sick.
We already know that there’s a significant population of people in and around Asheville who think that vaccines themselves pose serious health risks to their children. But the result of not getting children immunized is a return of illnesses such as whooping cough.
So – will Asheville parents get their children vaccinated against swine flu? Should they?
After outbreaks of the H1N1 flu virus in summer camps across the country and here in North Carolina, federal officials are considering school-based vaccine clinics to get children immunized against the disease. Public health officials are concerned that the virus, which has been considered mild, may grow stronger with the advent of traditional flu season.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that a vaccine for the H1N1 (swine flu) virus should be ready by mid-October. She told health and school officials from across the country that the government is preparing to launch a voluntary nationwide vaccine program.
School children are of particular concern in the spread of the virus. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at the flu’s peak in May, 726 schools were closed across the United States. Napolitano said schools and businesses need to prepare for the possibility of weeks of high absenteeism due to the flu this fall.
Numerous summer camps across North Carolina have experienced flu outbreaks this summer. Duke University announced in June that over a dozen campers in its summer programs had been ill. A Boy Scout camp in Asheville, a church camp in Randolph County, and a summer camp in Bladen County also had outbreaks.
On Friday, Sebelius is expected to announce $350 million in grants for states and hospitals to ramp up state and local flu preparation efforts.
The H1N1 vaccine may need to be delivered in two shots – that would require an estimated 600 million doses of vaccine. Seasonal flu vaccine will be given in a separate immunization.
Category: Asheville News