July 9, 2009
(CNN) The regular flu season may be months away, but the federal government is trying to be pro-active, preparing for a greater re-emergence of H1N1, also known as Swine Flu.
Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius addressed the H1N1 Influenza Preparedness summit Thursday at the National Institutes of Health.
The meeting brought together the top public health, homeland security, and education officers in the country. Sebelius says the government expects that a new H1N1 vaccine should be available starting in mid-October. Another top health official said to meet that time line, experts will begin testing vaccines in August, because the swine flu may return in full force in the fall.
President Obama took time out from the G-8 summit in Italy to call in.
"Our entire team has tried to engage in the most rigorous planning exercises to make sure that anything that may occur in the fall, we're prepared for," said Obama.
One of the President's top priorities in moving forward is making sure state and local officials prepare vaccination programs for the fall.