School response is on target

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We sometimes confuse, misinterpret or believe government’s role in our lives should be more than what it was intended. There are those who call for government to solve every social ill, address every problem or jump into every debate.

While government’s role was designed to be limited, instead leaving day-to-day problem solving to local and state governments, the battle against pandemics and disease falls right into the role of the federal government and thus far, their response to the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak has been stellar.

From staying ahead of the curve in keeping the public informed of ways to battle the spread of the illness to expediting the creation of a vaccine just months after the initial outbreak, the federal government’s response, from FEMA to the Centers for Disease Control down to the local government, has been swift and appropriate.

Just this week, the Suffolk School System sent letters home with their children, seeking permission to provide the H1N1 vaccine in the coming days. And, just a few days into it, more than 6,000 have returned permission slips and more than 600 system staff have committed to getting the vaccine.

While the returned slips are well below the 14,838 enrolled in our schools, the overwhelming response is a credit to the system’s organization in addressing this problem and working with local, state and federal officials to ensure our students remain safe and healthy.

For weeks we have called on local residents to get the regular flu shot as well as the H1N1 flu shot this season to ensure that our area remains one of the least affected from these flu outbreaks.

Today, we applaud the efforts of our local school officials and our other government agencies who have thus far addressed this H1N1 outbreak in such quick order.