More Masks Shipped for Flu Protection

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The California Department of Public Health is sending out 25 million masks. Director Dr. Mark Horton says that’s about half of the state’s stockpile.
“We are aware that there’s been some delay in the movement of the vaccine making it ever more important to make N-95 respirators available to health care workers for whom they’re recommended.”

Horton says more than one and a half million vaccines have arrived so far. That’s less than expected. But he says the state still expects to receive 20 million doses by the end of the year.

A major nurses union said earlier this week 16,000 nurses would strike at 39 hospitals if more masks weren’t delivered. A spokesperson says these nurses still won’t go to work next Friday unless they get more protective clothing and gloves as well as better patient screening and improved hospital pandemic response policies.