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Review of national pandemic influenza plan began last year

An updated national pandemic influenza plan will inform the response to Covid-19, the Medical Independent (MI) has been told.

A HSE review of the 2007 national pandemic influenza plan began last year.

A Department of the Health spokesperson told MI that the updated plan is forming part of the State’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The national pandemic influenza plan was published in 2007. A previous review of the plan was carried out by the Government’s pandemic review group, taking account of the response to the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009, and this review was published in May 2013.

“The Department has taken account of a range of national and international guidance as part of the State’s response to Covid-19, including the 2007 pandemic plan,” a Department spokesperson told MI.

“The HSE commenced a review of the plan in 2019; this has been considered in the context of the above-mentioned response [to Covid-19].”

In November 2017, the Department said the national pandemic influenza plan would be further reviewed and “updated in due course”.

At the time, the Department said the update would take into account a series of developments. These included EU decisions, the Irish response to public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC) and preparedness for future PHEICs, and any recommendations concerning pharmaceutical measures, such as immunisation, antiviral medications and any necessary arrangements to ensure they are available for use during a PHEIC.

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