President Obama called for “rigorous” planning by state and local officials in anticipation of a possible swine flu outbreak this fall, CNN reports. “We want to make sure we aren't promoting panic, but we are promoting vigilance and preparation,” Obama—on a video link from the G8 summit in Italy—told governors and health workers attending a summit on the disease. He urged officials to be ready for a vaccination campaign and highlighted the potential threat to schools.
HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the attendees that an H1N1 vaccine should be available by mid-October. “Scientists and public health experts forecast that the impact of H1N1 may well worsen in the fall—when the regular flu season hits—or even earlier—when schools start to open,” she noted. A possible vaccine will be reviewed by health experts early next month, said an official.