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Vaccine for Everyone (in Indiana and Tennessee)

October 6, 2009

It seems a bit disingenuous to call oneself the only public health preparedness blogger out there and not blog about the biggest activation of public health preparedness programs across the US. While it would be easier to not say anything for fear of inferring what I spend nine hours a day doing, it’s not helping advance the state of those programs or efforts, and frankly, I’ve got too much to say.

So, I’m back(?).

The biggest thing I’m depending on is this fancy-dancy WordPress iPhone app that will let me blog whilst sitting in Schuylkill traffic. The only trade-offs are that I won’t get as much homework done, posts won’t have pictures, and they’ll probably be a bit shorter. At the very least, it’ll help get all of this commentary and these ideas out of my head.

Like all good serials that take the summer off, I trust that you remember where we left off last season. No sense in me walking you through the events of the last four months as you’ve probably lived them, especially if you’re reading this blog. And if not, the major dailies have catch-up pieces pretty regularly anymore.

The hot topic in certain circles yesterday had to do, obviously, with H1N1 vaccine (yes, I sold out and am no longer calling it swine). Specifically, folks are chattering about what’s happening in Indiana and Tennessee. Both states not only announced that they are receiving vaccine, but have also released where the first doses would be going.

This is unusual, and cause for out-sized discussion, because no other state, county or city that I’ve heard of is announcing that information. My first thought when hearing about the announcement was to shake my head. Did they not think that the media would swarm those sites and the public would demand they get the vaccine first?

And then I thought about what I always preach here, be transparent and trust in the public. And that’s just what they’re doing. They’ve told the public, before anyone asked or there was any outcry, exactly what was going on, and trusted that they would be satisfied with the explanation that more was on its way, and everyone would have their opportunity to get a vaccine.

This situation reminds me of a post from the Crisisblogger, writing for Emergency Management Magazine, that I read this morning. Mr. Baron talks about what Dave Letterman is going through right now, and while chastising his, erm, lifestyle choices, he notes that Letterman’s decision to admit what happened on national TV, may have restored some people’s respect for him. Transparent, trust the public.

Time will tell if either decision was the right one, though (putting aside Letterman) at least IN and TN are trying something different – something that has the chance to rebuild faith in government. Kudos!

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