US President Barack Obama has declared the swine flu epidemic a national emergency. The declaration will make it easier for U.S. medical facilities to handle a surge in flu patients by allowing the waiver of some requirements of Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health insurance programs as needed.
Not everyone welcomes the H1N1 vaccine with open arms. Many people are sceptical about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine and the skeptics, including some healthcare professionals who are opposed to the mandatory vaccinations in their line of work. A September survey by Consumer Reports revealed that
- 51% of parents are agreeable to giving the shorts to their kids.
- 40% of adults are certain they will get the shots.
Meanwhile, New York City is not seemed to be fazed by the scepticism surrounding the H1N1 vaccine. The city will start offering flu shots or nasal sprays at the public primary schools this week. Private schools are also welcome to participate. Older kids in middle and high schools will have to wait till November or December for vaccination. School nurses will administer the vaccine.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, many people are already planning the holiday menus. However, there are concerns over about the safety of the turkey that will end up on the family table. In Canada, there was a reported incident of a swine flu outbreak in Ontario, CBC Canada reports. Health officials however, declared that the birds in the said farm were not meant for eating but only for egg production and there poses “minimal” risk to humans.
US health officials warned doctors not to wait for the results of flu tests before prescribing flu medications. The lab tests would take time and people with high risk factors, e.g. children under 2, pregnant women, and those with underlying condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease should be treated promptly.
Country leaders are urging their people to get the vaccine. And to set a good example, many heads of states and other leaders have got the vaccine. Canada’s health ministers Leona Aglukkaq is appealing to the public, especially those who are at high risk, to accept the vaccine. Canada is said to have entered the 2nd wave of H1N1 infections.