Influenza Control

September 24, 1976

Report Outline
Mass Vaccinations for Swine Flu
Recurrences of Flu in History
Prospects for National Program
Special Focus

Mass Vaccinations for Swine Flu

Current Status of Immunization Campaign

Virtually every american has a decision to make this fall. He or she must decide whether or not to get a vaccination shot to protect against a possible outbreak of influenza caused by the A/New Jersey/76 virus, better known as swine flu. The federal government is sponsoring a National Influenza Immunization Program that is without question the most ambitious such effort in history. For the first time, a nation's government will attempt to vaccinate virtually an entire population against a potential influenza epidemic. The undertaking is considered especially significant in the field of preventive medicine. “The American attitude toward influenza—and in time no doubt that of every nation—will never again be the same,” Charles S. Marwick wrote in Medical World News.

A massive publicity campaign by federal, state and local public health officials is moving into high gear, but the word already seems to be out nationwide. A Gallup Poll conducted late in August found that 93 per cent of the American people had heard or read about the program, which is strictly voluntary, and that 53 per cent planned to get a flu shot. Only 17 per cent said they would not get the shot, while 30 per cent said they had not made up their minds.

The program is not without its problems and critics, however. For one thing, it is far behind schedule. Initial vaccinations were supposed to begin in July and August for the elderly, with shots for other adults to follow in September. But vaccinations now are not expected to begin until Oct. 1 at the earliest, and less than one-quarter of the amount of vaccine originally wanted by that date will be available. There still is no vaccine considered both safe and effective for persons under 18, and young adults aged 18–24 may need a low-dosage shot followed by a booster shot. Children under age 3 will not be vaccinated unless they have a chronic disease and need special protection.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 13, 2015  Emerging Infectious Diseases
Nov. 08, 2013  Lyme Disease
Jan. 06, 2012  Preventing Disease
Apr. 02, 2010  Breast Cancer
Sep. 12, 2008  Heart Health
Aug. 24, 2007  Fighting Superbugs
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Jun. 20, 2003  Fighting SARS
Apr. 05, 2002  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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Mar. 02, 2001  Mad Cow Disease
Dec. 24, 1999  Asthma Epidemic
Aug. 05, 1983  Multiple Sclerosis
May 27, 1983  Chronic Pain: The Hidden Epidemic
Sep. 24, 1976  Influenza Control
Sep. 16, 1970  Virus Research
Mar. 14, 1956  Progress Against Polio
May 25, 1955  Degenerative Diseases
May 25, 1949  Chronic Disease
Mar. 01, 1924  The Foot and Mouth Disease
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Biology and Life Sciences
Infectious Diseases
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