Commissioners Vote to Stockpile Swine Flu Vaccine
At the Lee County Commissioner's Court Meeting on Monday, July 13, 2009, the Commissioners heard from Dr. Teresa Kinsfather, Public Health director, about an opportunity to stockpile antiviral medications for the County. Dr. Kinsfather explained to the Court some of the differences and difficulties involved with trying to anticipate the likelihood and risks of a new round of the N1H1 influenza, more commonly known as swine flu.
As Dr. Kinsfather explained to the Court, there has been a significant increase in confirmed cases of this flu over the past three months in the Central Texas area. While the actual number of cases is relatively small, the number of confirmed cases has doubled in this area in the past three months. Because of the severity of this type of flu, this is cause for serious concern. In the event of a declared influenza pandemic, the antiviral medications being made available to governmental bodies in Texas is intended to be used for the protection of first responders, critical caregivers, critical governmental law enforcement officials, and other key governmental officials. In the case of Lee County, this is some 100 individuals.
The medication being made available will have a shelf life of over five years, and is being made available to the County at a significant cost savings over the retail cost.
The commissioners approved the request to order this medication. The Commissioners were quite clear that this medication is being stockpiled only for critical County personnel and will not be available for the general public.