By Amber Gristak
Just before 3 o’clock, on the afternoon of September 1st, President Barack Obama began to address America’s preparation for the expected return of the past season’s H1N1 virus, formerly known as the Swine Flu.
Prior to his address, he we was briefed by senior officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. He spoke afterward from the Rose Garden.
According to an official White House press release, pertaining specifically to this matter, the administration has outlined the following three steps to prevent a massive outbreak.
1. Implementing a National Framework for 2009-H1N1 preparedness and response, including the four pillars of surveillance, mitigation, vaccine, and communications
2. Partnering with Congress, governors, mayors, territorial and tribal officials, state and local health departments and emergency managers, the medical community, private-sector entities, and community-based groups for an effective response
3. Issuing medical, science-derived public guidance for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, businesses and employers, and families across the country available 24/7 on www.flu.gov
Fine, however, lets dive deeper into the vaccine testing. Two weeks ago, researchers began testing the vaccine expected to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus. However, the initial press conference issued a statement which marked October as the expected public release date of the vaccine.
Within the press release, the White House referred to the vaccine study as “Preparing for a voluntary, but strongly recommended, H1N1 flu shot program to be available to all Americans that wish to participate over a period of time.”
Here’s a bit of recent history on how that is going so far. H1N1 vaccine testing began two weeks ago at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. The official press conference that morning outlined a vaccine study schedule to include five administered locations. Each location would test the vaccine on a total 600 volunteers. The quota was quickly filled.
However, a fear of the vaccine possibly bringing out and/or creating the neurological disorder of autism hit the mainstream. The attention was first initiated by families touched by autism speaking out, online.
Following this, the opening day numbers for phase two of vaccine testing declined greatly. The was test, administered at St. Louis Medical Center, and lead many political onlookers, and others, to see that the general public is under great hesitation to jump on board with the soon to be released vaccine that is still in the making.
Regardless, the president also urges individuals and families to “plan for the fall flu season and to take steps to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu.” He continued on to say, “I don’t want anybody to be alarmed, but I do want everyone to be prepared.”
Now, we all know that this statement could mean many things to many people. ICare4Autism knows that it is up to each person to make well informed decisions and will be providing continuous updates on the subject.
For the latest updates on this issue please continue to check the icare4autism website, www.icare4autism.org.