States to receive funds for flu response

Part of the $1.5 billion the Obama administration is requesting to deal with the swine flu outbreak will be distributed to states and localities to assist them with preparedness, a federal health official said April 30.

The rest of the funding would go to replenish antiviral stockpiles, ramp up vaccine production and buy medical supplies, Craig Vanderwagen, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Health and Human Services Department, told a House panel.

The administration is also willing to shift money as needed to reflect new developments in the spread of the virus, Vanderwagen told the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials published a list April 29 of $1.03 billion in flu-related programs that it would like to see in the supplemental appropriation the administration has requested. It includes $563 million for antiviral medicines and personal protective equipment for health workers, $350 million for state and local planning and response infrastructures and staffing, and $122 million for state antivirus stockpiles.

The administration is seeking to include its $1.5 billion request in a supplemental bill for war funding.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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