State backs down on mandatory H1N1 shots

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New York State is no longer requiring healthcare workers to take the H1N1 vaccine or risk firing, but only because they don't have enough of it.

The State projects that they're only going to receive 23% of the vaccine they were promised by the federal government. The feds say the short supply is due to testing and a virus which grows more slowly than expected in chicken eggs. The President declared H1N1 a national emergency Friday to loosen federal regulations and speed up treatment for the flu, which the CDC says has caused over 1,000 deaths since spring.

The Public Employees Federation got a restraining order against the mandate in state court last week, and had a court date set for 10/30. PEF recommends that their workers take the vaccine voluntarily, if they can get it.

Until the supply loosens up, the vaccine is being reserved for high-risk patients (mostly pregnant women and kids). Vaccination of city school kids is scheduled to start next week.


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