Friday, November 20, 2009

Success outshines failure in pandemic response

High demand for the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine and the limited vaccine supply has meant that many who want it can’t get it. A lot of people have been frustrated, and some have begun to question the U.S. response to the influenza pandemic.

Why isn’t more vaccine available? Why have some people received the vaccine while many at greater risk of complications from the flu been unable to get it? Could we have done better?

While there’s always room for improvement, Dr. Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association points out many extraordinary achievements during the U.S. pandemic response. These include open communication, rapid identification of the virus and development of not just one, but two vaccines — one for H1N1 flu and one for seasonal flu.

See what Dr. Benjamin has to say, and then tell us what you think (or take this MSNBC poll). Has the response to the pandemic been a success?

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