Vaccination of healthcare workers against the deadly H1N1 flu virus plays an important role in quality of care, said an epidemiologist who leads the H1N1 vaccine task force at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Vaccination of health workers is key, official says
The CDC's weekly news conference on the virus—popularly known as swine flu—was led by Jay Butler, director of the H1N1 Vaccine Task Force, and Dan Jernigan, deputy director of the agency's influenza division. Butler said receiving the vaccine provides an opportunity for healthcare workers not only to increase their chances of coming to work, but also of decreasing the chances that they will transmit an infectious agent to at-risk patients. “Certainly there will be healthcare providers who will decline the vaccine,” Butler said. “And I don't know what proportion that will be.”
According to Butler, the U.S. government has purchased 195 million doses of the vaccine, which will eventually be distributed to some 90,000 provider sites in the states and territories. The CDC expects that at least 3.4 million doses of the vaccine will be available during the first week in October. Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 virus, and the CDC continues to provide information and updates on its Web site.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.