Preparing for H1N1 and the upcoming flu season

As the President’s advisor on Homeland
Security, I am passing along the following message from
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services,
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Arne
Duncan, Secretary of Education, who are leading the efforts
to prepare our Nation for the coming flu season.

Fellow Americans,

This spring we were confronted with an outbreak of a troubling
flu virus called 2009-H1N1. As the fall flu season approaches,
it is critical that we reinvigorate our preparedness efforts
across the country in order to mitigate the effects of this
virus on our communities.

Today, we are holding an H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit
in conjunction with the White House to discuss our Nation’s
preparedness. We are working together to monitor the spread
of 2009-H1N1 and to prepare to initiate a voluntary fall
vaccination program against the 2009-H1N1 flu virus, assuming
we have a safe vaccine and do not see changes in the virus
that would render the vaccine ineffective.


But the most critical steps to mitigating the effects of
2009-H1N1 won’t take place in Washington — they will take
place in your homes, schools and community businesses.

Taking precautions for this fall’s flu season is a responsibility
we all share.

Visit Flu.gov to make sure you are ready and learn how you
can help promote public awareness.

We are making every effort to have a safe and effective
vaccine available for distribution as soon as possible,
but our current estimate is that it won’t be ready before
mid-October. This makes individual prevention even more
critical. Wash your hands regularly. Take the necessary
precautions to stay healthy and if you do get sick, stay
home from work or school.

We are doing everything possible to prepare for the fall
flu season and encourage all Americans to do the same —
this is a shared responsibility and now is the time to prepare.

Please visit Flu.gov to learn what steps you can take to
prepare and do your part to mitigate the effects of H1N1.

Take Care,

Kathleen, Janet and Arne

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111