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    Friday, December 17, 2004

    Flu Vaccine Update: The CDC is having a Grand Rounds devoted to Vaccine Shortages: Protecting the Public's Health amid Strategic and Ethical Concerns, in which they will educate public health departments in distributing vaccines in short supply. Their model will be Arkansas, a state that apparently has its act together. This is what the Arkansas state department of health did in October when the flu vaccine shortage hit:

    The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has identified the site of each flu vaccination clinic in the state on November 3, 2004, for high-risk groups. It has started a statewide distribution of the 107,500 doses received this season.

    Of the 107,500 total doses, approximately 58,860 are being divided among the counties based on population base and taking into consideration 10 counties with a greater number of persons 65 or older. The remaining doses were distributed to nursing homes.

    Here's what the Ohio State Health Department did:


    I called the Ohio Department of Health this week to see if I could get some of that flu vaccine the CDC is supposedly sending to states. When I asked the woman who answered the phone if I could order flu vaccine, the answer was "Sort of." I could email my information to them, but they might not get it because it was snowing (?!), and they couldn't tell me when or if I would ever see any flu vaccine.

    Which state do you think will be better prepared for a bioterror attack?

    Since the nation's public health authorities decided the best way to respond to a bioterrist attack with, say, smallpox, would be to respond after the attack with targeted immunization, you would think that vaccine distribution plans would have been a high priority for local and state public health departments. Apparently not. There's an opportunity here for a good investigative reporter to delve into where the money for bioterrorism preparedness went in each state. It certainly didn't go into preparing. Except in Arkansas.

    UPDATE: Meanwhile, Michigan has so much flu vaccine, they're giving it to low risk people. I know there's a long-standing feud between Ohio and Michigan, but can't we get some of that flu vaccine down here?

    posted by Sydney on 12/17/2004 07:18:00 AM 0 comments


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