Although the number of states reporting widespread transmission of the H1N1 flu has dropped to 14, it is still important for Americans to get vaccinated against the seasonal and H1N1 flu strains, said some of the nation's leading public health officials in a discussion hosted by HHS.
Flu activity ebbs; officials push vaccinations
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., Nicole Lurie, M.D., the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, Nancy Nielsen, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association, and Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease—who joined the discussion via video from Atlanta—answered questions from an interviewer and then addressed questions from the public in a webcast.
Schuchat noted said the nation is in a better position than it was a month ago because flu activity has fallen, while the availability of the H1N1 vaccine has risen. There are now 96.4 million doses of the vaccine available, according to Schuchat, who also emphasized the important role of healthcare providers in encouraging the U.S. public to get vaccinated against the flu.
“Healthcare providers have the most influence on people,” Schuchat said. “A recommendation from a doctor or nurse has more clout than anything we do in Atlanta or Washington,” she added. “These are hugely influential people.”
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