The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Workgroup held their monthly meeting and the first of 2014 on Jan. 13. The members discussed their involvement in the CDC Phase 3 Medical Countermeasures Plus Readiness Initiative. Members had the opportunity to review a finished draft of the tool from a holistic point of view. The members also discussed the local public health impacts of the recently released information by DHS Office of Health Affairs and HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, encouraging first responders to keep an initial (10-day) supply of antibacterial drugs at home to prevent the development of anthrax infection and disease in the event of an anthrax attack. Members also discussed potential changes to the CHEMPACK Program, and reviewed a document released by FDA addressing the FAQs for Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 medical countermeasures authorities (i.e., changes in emergency use authorization). Additionally, members shared their local health departments’ current influenza season experiences, and large numbers of H1N1 cases have been seen in Houston and the St. Paul-Minneapolis area.
A newly-published fact sheet about the MCM Workgroup is available on the Strategic National Stockpile and Medical Countermeasures webpage on naccho.org and in the NACCHO bookstore.