In a Star Tribune editorial “A call to action on influenza,” the paper’s editorial board examines why the U.S. government deemed influenza a national-security threat and how far we have come in combating this deadly virus.
The piece expresses the editorial board’s disappointment in the level of response by leading public health organizations to a recent influenza report from Michael Osterholm and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
Most notably, the editorial finds fault with the lack of a response from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which develops national vaccine-use guidelines.
According to the editorial:
“This landmark report should have been a headline item at a recent meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices(ACIP), which develops national vaccine-use guidelines. Instead, the discussion about the new report was negligible at best, which is intriguing because the Minnesota report suggested that this eminent group’s recommendations were good policy but not always backed up by data. Those are fighting words in the scientific world.
At the very least the report merited an in-depth discussion at the meeting late last month. The report shouldn’t have changed flu-shot recommendations, but it was a call to action. In an interview Friday, ACIP chair Dr. Jonathan Temte emphasized his organization’s deliberative process. Neither Temte nor Dr. Joseph Bresee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided a satisfying answer about how or when their organizations might act on the Minnesota analysis to champion a more effective vaccine.”
Visit the Star Tribune web site to read the full piece by the editorial board.