H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine updates, PBS documentary

Dec 14, 2009

Army works to vaccinate trainees before holidays
The US Army is working to finish vaccinating thousands of trainees against H1N1 flu before they head home on holiday leave, the Associated Press (AP) reported. More than 40,000 soldiers in basic and advanced training around the country will go on leave over the next 2 weeks, officials said. The Department of Defense (DoD) bought about 2.7 million doses of vaccine and is trying to finish administering them by the end of the year, a DoD spokesman said.

Low vaccine uptake in Alabama schools
Alabama's state health officer said only 20% to 25% of kindergarten through third-grade students in Alabama schools received the H1N1 vaccine when it was available the first week in December, the Huntsville Times reported. The vaccine was offered to children aged 9 and under. Dr. Donald Williamson said many children apparently had received the vaccine from their pediatricians, and the decline in H1N1 cases probably also contributed to low demand.
Dec 11 Huntsville Times story

Chicago area takes vaccine to holiday shoppers
Public health workers in Cook County, Ill., brought their pandemic vaccine campaign to holiday shoppers at a mall Dec 12 in an effort to make it easier for people to be immunized. The health department said in a media statement that it would release details over the coming days about more mall-based clinics. For Saturday's clinic, workers focused on designated priority groups, issuing 400 tickets for designated times between 10 am and 3 pm.
Dec 9 Cook County Department of Health release

USDA conditionally licenses vaccine for pigs
Pfizer Animal Health of Lincoln, Neb., was granted a conditional license for an H1N1 flu vaccine for use in pigs, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Dec 11. It is the first H1N1 flu vaccine license issued by the USDA and is valid for a year. Under USDA regulations, a product shown to be pure and safe and deemed likely to be effective may be licensed while data on efficacy and potency are still being gathered. The vaccine can be used only by veterinarians.
Dec 11 USDA press release

PBS to air pandemic documentary
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will air an hour-long documentary titled "Anatomy of a Pandemic" tonight, though the date may differ in some areas. The program, narrated by Ray Suarez of PBS's "NewsHour," will cover what scientists know about the new virus and past pandemics, vaccine development, issues relating to vaccine safety, and how governments are addressing the pandemic. The network will also host an online ask-the-expert forum tomorrow.
PBS pandemic documentary Web site

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