Massachusetts community helps to shape pandemic response plans
| 11.27.2007 | 07:07:47 | Views: 3544 | ID:
November 27 '07: According to first draft federal pandemic vaccination plans, EMS responders would be at the top of the priority list while firefighters and police would be second to receive the medicines. South Coast Today reported that after New Bedford's, MA pandemic revisions and actions, the federal governments guidelines were revised so that all first responders would get vaccines.
According to South Coast Today, "The guidelines were amended after local officials requested that fire and police personnel be included in the top category of those receiving vaccines. Since police and fire officials are often the first to respond to a medical emergency, it only makes sense that they be vaccinated first so they can help the afflicted without getting sick themselves, said Acushnet Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin A. Gallagher."The community planning committee had reviewed the plans, and when they were told by their state health department that the guidelines were federally mandated, a letter was sent to Senator Edward Kennedy (D) who helped to push a revision in legislation while he serves as the chairman of the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. In a statement, Sen. Kennedy said, "Thanks to Chief Gallagher's determination, firefighters around the country will receive the vaccines they need in a flu pandemic so they can continue to protect the communities they serve so bravely and so well."
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