H1N1 Flu in Review: The HHS response

Uploaded by USGOVHHS on 16.04.2010

NARRATOR: In the spring of 2009, public health officials
were alerted to an unusual outbreak of influenza.
DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT: Tuesday we reported that we had confirmed
two cases of influenza that were swine flu in children in California.
NARRATOR: On April 23rd, 2009 the CDC announced that
this strain of influenza had not been seen before in the U.S. or anywhere in the world.
It was a new strain of flu.
Today Mexico’s minister of health confirmed that they have cases of swine influenza in
people, and that they believe some of the people who were infected died from swine influenza.
NARRATOR: The world was confronted with a new flu virus
to which it appeared no one had immunity. The potential existed for a severe pandemic.
The public health community responded.
SEC. SEBELIUS: Last night, I arrived in Washington and immediately
after my swearing-in met with officials from the White House to discuss the national response
to the flu outbreak.
DR. RICHARD BESSER: Yesterday we announced the release of materials
from our Strategic National Stockpile
SEC. SEBELIUS: Currently the FDA and Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention are developing virus reference strains. HHS and the Food and Drug
Administration will monitor the manufacturing of a potential vaccine and conduct strict
oversight to insure that the vaccine is safe and effective for use. As a vaccine manufacturing
is underway, the NIH will also conduct clinical trials to make sure that the best dosage and
formulation of the vaccine is available.
Over the last week, my administration has taken several precautions to address the challenge
posed by the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.
NARRATOR: Those precautions included disseminating public
health recommendations through a variety of media…and developing a candidate vaccine
virus in less than three weeks. By June, there were 18,000 cases of H1N1 flu in the U.S.
DR. TOM FRIEDEN: W.H.O. has officially declared us to be in
a pandemic.
NARRATOR: In July of 2009, scientists and public health
experts from across the country came together in a Pan Flu Summit at N.I.H. to discuss the
most effective ways to minimize the impact of the H1N1 flu.
SEC. SEBELIUS We’re aggressively planning for a vaccination
NARRATOR: The National Institutes of Health directed
clinical trials of the H1N1 flu vaccine beginning in August. Trials were conducted on adults,
children, pregnant women, and individuals with underlying health conditions.
ARTHUR FERGENSON: I believe this is something that this federal
government and this administration is doing correctly. And I hope that the American people
will support the government and support their fellow citizens by getting immunization to
the H1N1 virus in the order that they are supposed to take it, and will follow up.
NARRATOR: HHS announced it was making $350 million available
in grants to state and local agencies for pandemic preparedness resources and activities.
HHS and the public health community continued to spread the word on not spreading the flu.
PRES. OBAMA: As I said when we saw the first cases of this
virus back in the spring, I don’t want anybody to be alarmed, but I do want everybody to
be prepared. We know that we usually get a second, larger wave of these flu viruses in
the fall, and so response plans have been put in place across all levels of government.
For all that we do in the federal government, however, every American has a role to play
in responding to this virus.
DR. JAY BUTLER: The FDA has licensed the H1N1 vaccine from
four of the five manufacturers. We also have data now that there's a good antibody response
to the vaccines.
DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT; So, we are now up to 76 children having died
from the 2009 H1N1 virus. To put that in context, the past three years, the total pediatric
influenza deaths ranged from 46 to 88.
NARRATOR: Although the production and delivery of vaccine
was slower than hoped, three million doses of nasal spray vaccine were available in October
as state and local agencies began holding H1N1 flu shot clinics. Media campaigns encouraged
the public to get vaccinated and answered questions about the risks and benefits of
the vaccine.
LARK McCARTHY So, talk about ingredients…some of these
words that raise concerns.
JESSE GOODMAN Well, the main ingredient in the vaccine is
a purified protein from the virus, okay? That is what stimulates you to have a response
that can protect you against the virus.
DR. TONY FAUCI: If this H1N1 pandemic influenza virus had
appeared in November or the beginning of December, we would have incorporated it into one of
the components of the seasonal flu, and no one would be asking the question, “Is this
a brand new vaccine for a brand new virus?” Because the viruses change each year and we
change the vaccines each year.
NARRATOR: In the month of November, H1N1 influenza was
widespread in 48 states. People under the age of 24 accounted for ½ of flu-related
hospitalizations. The number of vaccine doses available grew from 35.6 million to 54 million
two weeks later. By the beginning of December about 46 million people had been vaccinated,
and states reported fewer new cases of influenza.
DR. TOM FRIEDEN: We're going from a time where there was lots
of disease and not enough vaccine to a time where disease is gradually decreasing and
we're having a steady increase in the amount of vaccine that’s available.
ANNE SCHUCHAT: Many people are still susceptible to this
virus and would benefit from vaccination. We want to avoid complacency. Today I’m
happy to say that we have a very good supply of the H1N1 vaccine all around the country.
Going forward, the H1N1 virus is still circulating in the U.S. and we expect it to continue to
circulate for some time. We need to stay vigilant.
NARRATOR: Current estimates are that 15% of the U.S.
population has been infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus, resulting in some 365,000 hospitalizations
and 12,000 deaths. Between 72 and 81 million Americans were immunized for H1N1 flu by mid-February
– including one-third of all children. The close cooperation between federal, state,
and local agencies that allowed an effective response to the 2009 H1N1 flu makes the U.S.
better prepared to meet public health challenges in the future.