Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza
IDSA has published (September 2012) an updated set of Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Principles for United States Action to educate federal policymakers about how best to prepare for and respond to seasonal and pandemic influenza. IDSA's first set of principles was issued in 2007 (see previous version here). IDSA's updated principles rely upon the experience of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and are intended to assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and other agency officials as they establish priorities for implementation of the reauthorized Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). IDSA's 2012 principles were released at a policy forum hosted by IDSA and the American Medical Association, which included the ASPR and Congressional and other experts. A webcast of the policy forum is available here.
What Action Does IDSA Recommend?
IDSA strongly believes that much work remains ahead of us, and overall responses to seasonal influenza and pandemic preparedness must be closely interrelated. The Society calls for:
- coordination between HHS and other U.S. government departments, as well as a need for better coordination within HHS, particularly concerning influenza vaccine efforts
- establishing processes for continual review of critical and rapidly evolving components of influenza preparedness, such as the contents of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)
- vigorously supporting the uptake of the annual influenza vaccine by health care workers including through the adoption of a mandatory approach (see IDSA's revised policy statement (PDF) for details)
- significant and sustainable multi-year funding that may be used flexibly particularly by local health departments for "All-Hazards" preparedness