MUSC prepares for influenza vaccines
by Linda Formby
The 2009/2010 Influenza Vaccine Campaign for staff and students
promises to be challenging in a number of ways, but the university and
hospital are preparing now in order to provide all appropriate and
available vaccines to eligible staff and students.
The seasonal flu vaccine will be available in adequate numbers and all
staff and students are again encouraged to get the vaccine. This year’s
formulation covers three strains of flu including two A strains and one
B strain, however, it does not protect against the novel H1N1 strain
(swine) flu. Production of the seasonal flu vaccine was well underway
and did not allow for the inclusion of the novel strain.
Clinical trials of the novel H1N1 flu vaccine are underway and will
assess for safety, effectiveness and dosing. The vaccine is expected to
be available in the fall and may require two injections spaced at least
21 days apart. Priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) to receive the novel H1N1 vaccine include health care and
emergency medical services staff. Novel vaccine supplies may be
limited, at least initially, and healthcare and EMS personnel with
direct patient contact would be among the groups to receive the vaccine
first. Others would be vaccinated if and when additional supplies of
novel vaccine became available.
Plans are under way to again offer flu vaccines at our tent settings.
Decisions are being made, as more information becomes available, as to
the timing of our flu vaccine campaign kickoff. To assist us with
making these decisions, we have posted a survey at https://www.musc.edu/medcenter/surveys/flu_survey.html.
You can find the link on the MUHA intranet under Flu Vaccine Survey.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your input will help
us make the best decisions.
In summary, health care providers are among the priority groups for
vaccination with both seasonal and novel flu vaccines. Both vaccines
are needed to protect against all strains of the influenza virus
expected to circulate this flu season. We will keep you informed of our
progress as we prepare for a successful flu vaccine campaign.
Friday, Aug. 21, 2009