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25 Aug, 2009 08:10

US vs Swine Flu: information & vaccination

The US Government is stockpiling vaccine as some estimates suggest half the American population of 300 million could fall ill during the winter. How are Americans themselves getting educated about H1N1 flu?

Children across the US are getting ready to go back to school. And the Department of Education is preparing for mass absenteeism if there is an outbreak of swine flu.

The government has released guidelines for home teaching, after more than 700 schools were closed due to the outbreak earlier in the year.

The US government has reportedly ordered enough vaccine to treat only half the nation. Health officials say each dose will require two shots.

Fast action, many say, for a virus strain not fully understood.

New York citizen Craig Fitzgerald says the real threat Americans face is mutating fear he charges US leaders of injecting into the people.

“Governments, states, want to centralize their power and authority,” he believes. “By having a crisis like a pandemic or some sort of flu outbreak, Governments will be able to declare things like Marshall Law.”

With the first and most cases nationwide, New York City was considered the epicenter of swine flu last spring. Health officials say at least half a million New Yorkers may be infected with H1N1.

“We came up with that number by doing a random telephone survey where we called up about a thousand New Yorkers,” said Isaac Weisfuse from NYC Department of Health.

“We asked them if they had an influenza-like illness during a certain time period. Then we extrapolated it to the total population of the city of New York.”

With a growing amount Americans uncertain about how widespread and severe H1N1 influenza actually is, officials are conducting information meetings to gauge public opinion over how aggressive the swine flu vaccine campaign should be.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is actually paying every participant $50 to take part in the six-hour information session on new vaccines. To lighten the mood during talks on swine flu: free gourmet meals – a small reward to those donating their Saturday to discuss a global pandemic.