June 14th, 2009
10:21 AM ET
13 years ago

Sebelius: Government is getting ready for swine flu

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/14/art.sebeliusnosmile0614.cnn.jpg caption="Secretary Sebelius said Sunday that the government is watching the H1N1 swine flu very closely and making preparations for the upcoming flu season this fall."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that the federal government is doing everything it can to be ready for the traditional flu season this fall and winter, now that the H1N1 swine flu virus has become a global public health concern.

“We are certainly making every effort to be totally prepared,” Sebelius said on CNN’s State of the Union, adding that the production of a swine flu vaccine could begin as early as the end of the summer if a vaccination program is ultimately recommended.

“The good news is it still seems like not such a lethal virus,” Sebelius added. “But we are fully prepared . . . . Preparation is very much under way for what may happen this fall.”

Late last week, the World Health Organization raised its swine flu alert level to 6 – the highest level on WHO’s scale. It signifies the existence of a global pandemic – from the point of view of geographic spread rather than the sheer number of cases.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Does it not matter that there are 30,000 cases of swine flu reported globally when on average, 36,000 Americans die each year from regular ole flu. Swine flu is the new orange. It's to scare you into letting the gov't spend more money.

    June 14, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. for what may happen this fall

    free trade, fast movement through borders

    things need to slow down, we will reap what we sow if we keep thinking that health comes second

    June 14, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Dawn in Pa

    Well to anyone who has had the flu and who get the flu shot... Have asthma and allergic to eggs... I have to order a special flu shot that is costly, because it is made for someone who is allergic to eggs where they are incubated....

    Yes Alex Flu does kill the elderly, children and anyone who has lung disease....

    June 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Leah

    Dawn: The European countries have developed a potential shot through other means and are set to begin testing it.

    To not prepare for a potential threat is ridiculous. The World Health Organization is the one that raised the level to pandemic, not the Obama Administration.

    June 14, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Ray from Nashville

    Maybe, just maybe, we'll never have another pandemic like the great inlfluenze epidemic that struck the world back in 1919. I'd rather see our government do all it can to prevent it, though, than sit around with and smugly think it will never happen again because our "technology" has progressed so far since then.

    June 14, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. David

    Alex , the issue is not how many peopel die each year from the regular flu. That is a very narrow minded way to approach the issue. The reason why this flu has made headlines is because it is a NEW strain that is not totally understood yet. The flu of 1918 came in waves and was progressively worse each time it manifested itself. What the WHO does know, is that there is the possiblity for mutation, and because it has more severe affects on the young and healthy, it is reason for caution. I think it is very wise for the government to take note and action.

    June 14, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Larry S

    I guess she has more time since she no longer needs to continue her support of Tiller. I would assume she was very sad when he was murdered.

    June 14, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Mike O'Brien

    I sure hope so. We really don't know, where this 'Swine Flu' or 'H1N1' is going or how fast. To my understanding by the media and 'HOW".., the United States now, is the fastest growing country with the virus. Mike in Montana

    June 14, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Dan, TX

    This lady does not know what she is saying. She is incompetent. just because she was Governor of Kansas doe snot mean she can do the job. She made Dr. Tiller millionaire when she was in Kansas. Now she wants to make many others millionaires at tax-payers cost. Just go away.

    June 14, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. yuri

    Now that it is pandemic, swine flu will be one of the greatest teachers of medicine, just like syphilis once was.

    June 14, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Moe NY

    "Not such a lethal virus".....Obviously Ms. Sebelius this virus has not killed anyone you loved...so far!

    June 14, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. JAY JOHN

    They are going to wait on production of a vacinne till
    the fall, while people are dying from swine flu today.

    June 14, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |