Flu Pandemic: Are We Ready?

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

President Bush has announced a plan to combat a flu pandemic. Much of it depends on finding and dispensing an effective vaccine. But judging on previous years' experience there's problems with getting seasonal flu vaccines out to the community.

Last year, a contamination at manufacturer's plant in England led to a severe shortage. Even this year, many doctors saw delays in getting all their vaccine in a timely manner. It's these issues that health officials say is indicative of much greater problems should a pandemic hit.

Dr. Dean Sienko of the Ingham County Health Department said this is why the President's call to revamp the current manufacturing process is vital. That way, scientists could identify the deadly strain in advance and quickly make a vaccine instead of having to wait four to six months.

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