H1N1 Flu & Seasonal Flu Vaccines
The CDC continues to encourage everyone to get vaccinated against the flu.
Vaccines are the best tool we have to prevent influenza.
The CDC and multiple medical/health organizations issued the "Open Letter to the American People about the H1N1 Flu Vaccine" to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. This letter emphasizes that the H1N1 vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to protect against the H1N1 Flu.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius and Director of OPM John Berry issued the September 30, 2009 "Immunization of Federal Workers with 2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Vaccines" memorandum to heads of the Executive Departments and Agencies to provide guidance on this.
As outlined in the DOI all-employee memo of October 8, 2009, the 2009 H1N1 vaccine was made available to DOI employees through the same channels as the seasonal flu vaccine. Employees are encouraged to get vaccinated for the H1N1 Flu by their healthcare provider or local healthcare system that they normally use to get their seasonal flu vaccine. Additional options may be available through your workplace.
In addition, as outlined in the 2009 H1N1 Flu –Memorandum #5 issued on January 29, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs health system is offering H1N1 vaccinations to DOI and other Federal employees who are health care or "emergency support staff," or others who handle clinical specimens potentially containing influenza virus. "Emergency support staff" includes first responders (police, fire fighters, medical technicians, etc.), persons potentially deployed for disaster relief services, and critical Federal government staff in operational or regulatory positions (border security, staff essential for continuity of operations, etc.). By opening its doors to DOI health care and emergency support staff, the VA expands opportunities for our employees to be vaccinated. This could be especially useful in areas which do not have Federal Occupational Health service but may be proximity to a VA facility.
HHS is working with States and interested partners to build a zip code-based flu clinic locator covering both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. States are posting new information every day about the availability of vaccine, as well as its distribution to priority groups and where to get vaccinated. There is also information on State planning and preparation efforts, as well as general flu information here.
***This is not currently active during the summer months. It will return this fall as seasonal flu vaccine becomes available around the country.***
CDC received reports of fraudulent emails (phishing) referencing a CDC sponsored state vaccination program. These messages request that users create a personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. The message also states that anyone who is 18 years or older has to have his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site. CDC has NOT implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. Users that click on the email are at risk of having malicious code installed on their system. Therefore, CDC reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of a phishing attack:
- Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited email messages
- Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites
- Use caution when entering personal information online
In addition, the CDC received reports regarding charges, distribution and marketing irregularities involving the H1N1 vaccine and ancillary supplies. Therefore, the CDC developed the "Q & A: Fraud and Abuse Related to 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine" document to provide information to State and local immunization programs related to this issue and what measures they can take.