Public weighs in on pandemic vaccine allocation plan

first_imgDec 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – As US officials wrap up efforts to gauge the public’s response to a draft plan for allocating vaccine supplies during an influenza pandemic, suggestions to fine-tune the plan are emerging, such as giving higher priority to critical infrastructure workers, the families of key healthcare workers, and community pharmacists.A 3-day Web dialogue, held Dec 4 through 6, drew about 420 people who either participated in or observed guided discussions on various aspects of the pandemic vaccine prioritization draft, according to summaries of the dialogue posted on the event Web site. The event was sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).The groups, with assistance from the Keystone Center, a nonprofit science public policy group based in Keystone, Colo., will hold a stakeholder meeting in Washington, DC, tomorrow. They also sponsored a series of public engagement meetings in January in Las Cruces, N.M., and Nassau County, N.Y., and in November in Milwaukee and Henderson County, N.C. HHS is taking comments on the draft pandemic vaccine allocation plan through Dec 31, according to a Federal Register notice.A federal interagency working group presented its vaccine prioritization draft to HHS’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee on Oct 23. The tiered approach lists key health and safety personnel and children as top priorities.During the Web dialogue, participants offered several ideas for revising the draft guidance, according to daily summaries on the dialogue Web site. Some suggested that adding an age criterion to the occupation groups might help the plan fulfill its goals of reducing deaths and maintaining critical infrastructure. “It was noted that the draft guidance is not age-based, but leans more toward protecting society (critical infrastructure) and the population groups at the top [of the priority lists],” the summary notes.One of the main themes, according to the daily summaries, was protecting critical infrastructure, especially the electric power grid. Employees who maintain electrical systems should be moved to the top tier, many of the participants said.”Some suggested that the only true critical infrastructure is electric power,” the dialogue summary said. Employees who maintain power systems “should receive the highest priority for prophylactic antiviral medications, have special support for their families, and be first in line for vaccine,” the summary noted.The vaccination priority of family members was also raised several other times during the Web dialogue. Though many participants seemed to support family coverage for first responders and other key healthcare workers, there was less of a consensus on priority status for the families of military members and homeland security employees. Some surveys have indicated that many healthcare workers will not show up for work during a pandemic if their families don’t receive antiviral medication or vaccines and if they don’t have adequate personal protective equipment.Some participants said the final vaccine priority plan should factor in important supply chain issues and protect workers who produce and deliver necessities such as raw materials, medicine, food, and fuel.The discussion moderators asked participants what the government should do to make the vaccine priority plan more acceptable to the public. Suggestions included keeping citizens informed when supplies of vaccines and antiviral medications change. “Citizens will be enraged if their expectation is not adjusted before a pandemic starts. Set the policy for the current reality and be up-front about the implications,” the summary said.Though the discussion summaries don’t suggest that participants supported moving many groups down on the priority list, a poll at the end of the dialogue asked participants to make some difficult choices. The dialogue summary said the poll questions were crafted from questions and concerns from the dialogue and public engagement sessions. About 170 people took part in the poll, which also included some who attended public engagement sessions in Henderson County, N.C., and Milwaukee. The poll results are available on the dialogue Web site.For example, when participants were asked if people aged 80 or older should be moved from tier 4 to tier 5, 76% (129) agreed to some extent. And when they were asked if school-age children should be moved up and vaccinated before infants and younger children, 79% (135) agreed.Terry Adirim, MD, MPH, a member of the federal interagency work group that produced the draft vaccine plan, served as a panelist during all of the Web dialogue. Adirim is medical adviser for medical readiness in the Office of Health Affairs in the US Department of Homeland Security. She also helped facilitate some of the public engagement forums.Adirim said the dialogue and public engagement sessions were designed both to solicit public comments and to educate the public about pandemic readiness issues, and the facilitators were impressed with how much many of the attendees already knew about the topics. “We consider it a success,” she said, adding that participants made it clear they had concerns about personal preparedness and government transparency about pandemic and vaccine-related issues.”People also wanted children protected, and moderators familiar with the vaccine plan were able to address why they [the interagency working group] did what they did,” Adirim said.Nicholas Kelley, a masters’ degree candidate in environmental public health at the University of Minnesota, took part in the dialogue during all 3 days. “I’m 24, so I’m in an age-group that would be at high risk, and these issues are fascinating to me,” he said. Kelley is also a research assistant for the CIDRAP Business Source and has worked on college pandemic plans.He said many of the participants were uncertain about how the case-fatality rate during a pandemic will actually steer vaccination strategies, especially since what’s known about the rates during a pandemic is based on historical data. “There’s a lot of disconnect,” Kelley said.”People really want to keep as many alive as possible, but no one really wanted to move people down [the priority list],” he said.Support for protecting critical infrastructure workers grew as the Web dialogue progressed, Kelley noted. “You could see a real shift by the third day. People were adamant about critical infrastructure,” he said.”In a public forum, there are always possibilities for heated emotional exchanges, but the Web format included well-articulated and thought-out comments,” Kelley said of the Web dialogue.In a previous report, the federal interagency working group said that after receiving public comments it would revise the vaccine prioritization plan, which will be considered a final interim report.See also:Draft Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccinehttp://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/vaccination/allocationguidance.pdfOct 24 CIDRAP News story “Pandemic vaccine proposal favors health workers, children”Federal Register notice on comment submissionPandemic vaccine prioritization Web dialogue sitePandemic vaccine allocation poll resultslast_img read more

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8 Saunton Sands Devon A fair few famous people h

first_img8. Saunton Sands, DevonA fair few famous people have skipped along these shores, including Robbie Williams and Olly Murs, both heart-throbs having chosen Saunton Sands as a music video location. The quaint English seaside town in North Devon is also popular with surfers, so grab a board and hit the waves – first-timers should check out local surf schools Walking on Waves (07786 034403) or Surf South West (01271890400) for lessons. Or perhaps you want to go at a slower pace and enjoy a slice of village life? Hire deck chairs from ‘Jules’ along the seafront and tuck in to seasonal seaside grub at Sands Cafe. Enjoy a relaxing weekend break without stepping foot in a busy airport and find hotels in Devon here. 2. Polzeath, CornwallIn Cornish, Polzeath actually means ‘dry creek’, which is ironic, given the amount of blue stuff that laps the shore here. The long sloping beach makes it ideal for families wanting to splash about in the sunshine (when it appears) and you don’t need to go to Florida to swim with dolphins – they’ve been spotted off the coast right here in Cornwall! If you fancy stretching your legs then follow the coastal road away from the sands and around the corner to Daymer Bay – the waves here are smaller than at Polzeath so it’s a preferred spot for swimmers and windsurfers. If you want to explore the area even more then you can hire a car and drive out to Lundy Bay, Trebarwith Strand and right on to Port Isaac. 7. Tenby, Pembrokeshire, WalesThere’s a lot of history in this tiny seaside town. From the thirteenth century walls that surround it, to the Tudor Merchant’s House, learn a bit about local history and visit some of the 200 listed buildings in Tenby. The beach is usually strewn with stripy deck chairs during summer, as it’s a popular day-tripper destination, with plenty of seafront pubs and cafés nearby. Trains from London and Birmingham take about five hours, so you might want to consider an overnight stop. If the sands get a little bit too crowded, set sail on a tour to Caldey Island on a boat tour, many of which are on offer departing from the harbour. Related10 of the world’s best beaches: in picturesThey’re no hidden gems, but they’re beautiful: feast your eyes on 10 of the world’s best not-so-secret beaches.20 of the best beaches in Europe that the locals don’t want you to know aboutPlanning a beach holiday and looking for a quiet spot where you won’t have to battle for an umbrella? Beat the miserable British summer by planning your escape to one of these secret beaches across Europe that you’ve probably never heard of…Sand and the City: Top 10 Urban BeachesMaximise your holiday time by combining city break with sandy break and visiting an urban beach this summe Credit: ©Grace Smith / CC BY 2.05. Crosby Beach, Merseyside, LiverpoolEscape from the chaos of one of Britain’s leading industrial cities, Liverpool, and head to Crosby beach, spanning the three miles from the Port of Liverpool to the River Alt. Here you’ll find Anthony Gormley’s sculptures, a collection titled Another Place, dotted along the shoreline, inspiring you to contemplate our relationship with nature as the tide reveals these life-size iron casts of the artist’s own body. There’s free parking at Mariners Road, Cambridge Road and Hall Road and dogs are very welcome – as long as they don’t scare away the birds! Want to find more incredible places to visit in the UK? Check these out:Readers’ tips: 10 more of Britain’s best beachesYou shared your beaches in Blighty with us, from Bognor to Barafundle, but did your favourite spot make the cut?10 magical places in the UKYou’ll be spellbound by these pictures of Britain’s most mystical spots.10 beautiful coastal spots in Wales: in pictures Here are ten stunning photographs of Wales’ dramatic coastline.15 unbelievably beautiful places to visit in CornwallPoldark fans, check out these gorgeous film locations from hit TV show, plus more stunning spots in the south of England.Go further afield and see some more stunning sandy spots around the world:10 of the best beautiful secret beaches in Europe Our glorious photo selection of 10 of the most beautiful off-the-beaten-track beaches in Europe.12 of the world’s most beautiful beaches: in picturesFeel the sand between your toes with these sun-drenched pictures of some of the world’s most stunning beaches.Which is your favourite beach in the UK? Tell us in the comment box below!Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels, car hire and trains.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 3. Birling Gap, East SussexThis seaside stop lies on Sussex’s South Downs, not far from Beachy Head, and shares the same stretch of famous white cliffs, which have featured in many films, books and TV shows; Beachy Head hosted Harry Potter’s 1994 Quidditch World Cup. There’s not much in the way of nightlife here, there’s a café, a shop and a visitor centre, all run by the National Trust. But it’s the perfect place for a bracing walk and a rummage in the rockpools.center_img Have we left any of your favourite sandy spots out? Let us know in the comments section below.1. Blackpool, LancashireArguably Britain’s most iconic beach resort, Blackpool is home to bright lights, soft sands and of course, the Pleasure Beach. Whilst many enthusiastic thrill-seekers head down to the Lancashire coast during the summer months to ride the ‘Big One’, you should also check out The Big Switch On, the opening ceremony of the annual Blackpool Illuminations which begins each September and runs until early November. 6. Hunstanton, NorfolkA popular spot for Victorian holidaymakers, Hunstanton (known by locals as ‘Hunston’) has everything you’d expect from a traditional British seaside town. Colourful beach huts? Check. Fairground? Check. Fresh fish and chips? Of course! We recommend Fishers of Hunstanton, which has been serving up vinegar drenched spuds in newspaper cones for over 40 years. Get out on the water with Searles Sea Tours and go on sea safari – the tour lasts an hour and gets you up close to some of the cutest seals on Britain’s shores (£16 for adults, £8 for children under 14). Credit: ©Andrew Bennett / CC BY 2.010. Aldeburgh, SuffolkLooking for a spot to sit on a shingle beach and tuck in to a pot of mussels or vinegary cockles? You won’t get much better than Aldeburgh, whose stony beach has been awarded a Blue Flag for being environmentally friendly and an all-round pretty place. Check out The Scallop, a four-metre tall sculpture of a scallop shell dedicated to one of Suffolk and Norfolk’s most famous residents, composer Benjamin Britten. The easiest way to get here is by train – take the National Express East Anglia service from London Liverpool Street to Saxmundham station and Aldeburgh is just a short 15 minute drive away. 9. Dalmor Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, ScotlandOne half of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the Scottish Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Lewis is home to plenty of wildlife, including golden eagles and red deer. Being an island that’s battered by the North Atlantic, there are also tons of sweet surf spots catering for all levels, including Dalmor and Dal Beag Beaches. You might want to pack a pretty thick wetsuit though as these waters get pretty nippy! 4. Portbradden, County Antrim, Northern IrelandGone fishing. That’s the most common Facebook status for residents in this ancient salmon fishing station. That is if they can get internet signal. This remote hamlet is the prime place for fishing, and bird watching, but for a bit more action, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the world famous Giant’s Causeway isn’t far away.last_img read more

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