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Flu Funds Boost Local Health Budgets

November 13, 2009
by Kelley Weiss
National Public Radio

The swine flu pandemic has been a stimulus of sorts for cash-strapped health departments around the country.

Congress approved more than $7.5 billion in emergency funds specifically for the swine flu. More than half of that money went to pay for H1N1 vaccine production. Local health departments will get almost $1.5 billion to give out the vaccines. The bigger the county's population, the more funding they get...

Public health departments around the nation will also be using the federal funds to hire on new temporary staff. Jeff Levi, with the public health advocacy group Trust for America's Health, says that during this pandemic, these staff hires are vital.

"Over the last year and a half," Levi says, "it's been estimated that local health departments have lost somewhere around 20,000 positions."

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