Jul 31, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to gather the public’s thoughts in August on how big this fall’s H1N1 influenza vaccination drive should be.
The CDC will hold 10 “public engagement” meetings around the country to get the citizenry’s advice on whether the vaccination program should be an all-out effort or something more modest, according to Roger Bernier, PhD, MPH, senior advisor in the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The agency wants to take the public pulse on the issue because there’s so much uncertainty about the scale and of the severity of the pandemic and the demand for the vaccine this fall and winter, Bernier said.
“We’re at some danger of either overreacting or underreacting, and that depends on how fully prepared we want to be and how we invest to be fully prepared,” he said. “We’re trying to learn how they [the public] value preparation in this case, and how they balance that against possible safety concerns and other issues that arise.”
The CDC has scheduled a meeting in one city in each of the 10 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions, he reported. The all-day meetings will be held on Saturdays. Dates and locations are as follows:
- Aug 8: Denver, Colo., and Lincoln, Neb.
- Aug 15: Birmingham, Ala., Sacramento, Calif., and Vincennes, Ind.
- Aug 22: El Paso, Tex., Bucks County (near Philadelphia), Pa., and New York City
- Aug 29: Somerville, Mass., and Spokane, Wash.
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