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Independence Blue Cross Takes Steps to Prepare for H1N1 and Seasonal Flu
Date:9/1/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help keep members healthy and flu-free this year, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will offer coverage for the administration costs of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine when it becomes available. In addition IBC will continue to cover seasonal flu vaccine.

"At Independence Blue Cross, we want our members and customers to be prepared with everything they need to know about H1N1 and seasonal flu to keep their families and employees healthy," says I. Steven Udvarhelyi, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Independence Blue Cross. "We are monitoring the spread of the H1N1 virus and seasonal flu, and will continue to follow the precautions and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal, state, and local governments."

IBC based its decision to cover H1N1 vaccine administration upon the formal recommendations recently announced by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. This committee recommended that first priority be given by those administering the vaccine to five key populations:

  • pregnant women;
  • people who live with or care for children younger than six months of age;
  • health care and emergency services personnel;
  • children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years; and
  • people age 25 through 64 who have chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of complications from influenza infection.

The CDC's Advisory Committee also provided guidance regarding high-risk groups that should be targeted in the event of a significant shortage of vaccine, as well as recommendations for the general population if the supply of vaccine exceeds the needs of the target groups.

The coverage IBC will offer for administering flu vaccine applies to members who
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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