Separately, a New York judge granted a temporary restraining order to the New York State Public Employees Federation, which had sued the state to block a policy requiring flu vaccinations of healthcare workers by Nov. 30, the union reported on Oct. 16. “This is a big step in the right direction,” Kenneth Brynien, president of the organization said in a news release. “We are not aware of any other successful legal challenge to a mandatory vaccination requirement.” The judge will hear arguments on Oct. 30.
Schuchat said there were 11.4 million doses of the vaccine available, and states had ordered 8 million of those doses as of Wed., Oct. 14 ; a little more than half of the vaccine now available is in the form of a flu shot. “We do expect to have a large number of doses,” Schuchat said, “but the next couple of weeks will be a slow start.”
As of Oct. 16, 41 states—up from 37 the week before—have reported widespread flu activity, while the remaining states are seeing regional or local activity, all of which Schuchat described as “unprecedented” for this time of year. And she said more young Americans have died from the disease, as the virus has now caused the deaths of 86 U.S. children under the age of 18, with half of those deaths occurring among teens.
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