January 20, 2010

Public Health Response to Influenza A(H1N1) as an Opportunity to Build Public Trust

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House (Dr Heymann); Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Dr Heymann); and Institute for Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College (Dr Larson), London, England.

JAMA. 2010;303(3):271-272. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.2023

In June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and in October 2009, President Obama declared it a national emergency.1 The influenza A(H1N1) virus is being monitored around the world for changes in virulence or epidemiology. There has been a push to have vaccines ready, yet vaccine supply may be insufficient in some areas. The public wants to be assured that there is enough vaccine, but at the same time, some are questioning the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. It is a time of uncertainty both for the public health community and for the public.

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