Infectious Disease Preparedness: Federal Challenges in Responding to Influenza Outbreaks, Statement of Janet Heinrich, Director, Health Care--Public Health Issues, Testimony before the Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate [open pdf - 153KB]
Janet Heinrich: "I am pleased to be here today as you discuss issues regarding the annual production and distribution of flu vaccine and preparedness for a worldwide influenza epidemic-known as a pandemic. Each year, influenza viruses cause outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Influenza is associated with an average of 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. Persons aged 65 and older are involved in more than 9 of every 10 deaths and 1 of every 2 hospitalizations related to influenza. The best way to prevent influenza is to be vaccinated each fall. In the 2000-01 flu season, and again in last year's flu season, this country experienced periods when the demand for flu vaccine exceeded the supply, and there is concern about the availability of vaccines for this and future flu seasons."
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/