RESCHEDULED: HEALTH AGENCIES SEEK PUBLIC INPUT ON PRIORITIZATION OF INFLUENZA VACCINE IN CASE OF WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC

RESCHEDULED: HEALTH AGENCIES SEEK PUBLIC INPUT ON PRIORITIZATION OF INFLUENZA VACCINE IN CASE OF WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC

Residents of Doña Ana County and the region are invited to a public meeting to discuss how the limited supplies of influenza vaccine might be distributed in the event of a global pandemic of influenza.

The public meeting is co-sponsored locally by the Southern Area Health Education Center in Las Cruces, as well as The Keystone Center of Santa Fe and Colorado, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials all in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The public input will be used by the CDC to establish guidance on how the limited supplies should be apportioned among people depending on risk factors and their specific roles in society.

Experts say chances of a widespread influenza outbreak – known as a pandemic when it reaches around the world – are increasing. Early in such an outbreak, the United States will lack an adequate supply of vaccine. Should this situation arise, difficult decisions must be made about who should receive vaccine first.

The meeting will be held SATURDAY< JAN. 27, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, 705 S. Telshor Boulevard, Las Cruces NM 88011

Residents are asked to pre-register for the meeting to be eligible for a stipend. They do not need to have any medical training, or be affiliated with any medical or governmental institution. A broad cross section of the community is desired, and organizers are prepared to accommodate about 100 participants. They will be provided a continental breakfast and lunch.

Those interested in participating should register in advance. The registration details and registration information is available at http://www.keystone.org/Public_Policy/vaccine_prioritization_2007/public..., and follow the links on the Las Cruces section, or call Sierra Trujillo toll-free at 1-800-219-6670.