Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Urge CDC To Increase Communication With State And Local Officials About Distributing H1N1 Vaccine, As Local Governments Express Concern About Availability

Oct 26, 2009

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase
communication to local municipalities regarding the distribution of the
H1N1 influenza vaccine. The Senators said that increased communication
would improve the necessary, coordinated efforts of federal, state, and
local governments in influenza preparedness. The call comes after
Schumer and Gillibrand have received many inquiries expressing concern
about the availability of the H1N1 vaccine. Local health departments
throughout New York have received similar questions from residents and
health care providers about accessibility and procedures surrounding

I applaud the Department of Health and Human Services, including the
CDC, in their increased efforts to address concerns about the H1N1 flu,
simply not enough is being done to inform local governments and health
departments about the vaccine,” Schumer said. “As we’ve seen, H1N1 is a
serious threat to public health, especially to children and the
elderly, and we must do everything we can to ensure the public and the
local governments that represent them are well informed of influenza

about H1N1 is very high, and as a mother and a lawmaker, I feel it is
the federal government’s responsibility to provide every local
community with the vaccines that they need to protect the public from
H1N1,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “While public health departments and
federal agencies have been working hard to respond effectively, many
communities in New York have not received adequate information about
the availability of H1N1 vaccines.  I urge the CDC to immediately
increase their communication with local governments and public health
departments to help keep all New Yorkers safe.”

many cases, local health departments and emergency preparedness
officials are unable to provide H1N1 information because they have not
received it from the CDC, or have received conflicting information from
state and federal officials.  As a result, it appears that local
distribution of the vaccine is impaired.  For example, in Long Island,
over half of the population of 3 million residents falls within a
demographic susceptible to H1N1 influenza.  However, only a small
number of Long Island’s residents have been able to access the
vaccine.  Schumer and Gillibrand believe increased public awareness
will mitigate existing concerns surrounding the availability of the
vaccine, as well as further the ability of governments and health care
providers to dispense the vaccine to those Americans who want it.