Federal Assessment Finds Progress, Gaps in State Plans for Pandemic Influenza

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, January 15, 2009

From the press release:

U.S. states and territories have made progress toward planning for an influenza pandemic, but major gaps remain, according to a federal assessment released today.

The HHS science advisor to the secretary led 12 federal departments and two White House offices in developing reviewing state and territory operating plans, called for by the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza: Implementation Plan.

State operating plans scored best in protecting citizens. The plans showed no or few major gaps in addressing mass vaccination operations during each phase of pandemic, ensuring surveillance and laboratory capability during each phase of a pandemic, in acquiring and distributing medical countermeasures and in ensuring communication capability.

All state plans did not address or showed major gaps sustaining operations of state agencies, and supporting and protecting state government workers so that the state government could continue to function during an influenza pandemic.

The report noted that continuity of operations for all state agencies merits significant attention if substantial socio-economic disruptions are to be avoided during an influenza pandemic. Even the best plans can fail if managers cannot accommodate the significant absenteeism and disruptions in supporting services and supplies that an influenza pandemic is almost certain to produce.

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