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Florida to receive $20 million flu grant

TALLAHASSEE — Florida will receive more than $20 million to prepare for the upcoming flu season thanks to a federal bill signed into law last month by President Obama.

Congress passed the supplemental appropriations bill, which will distribute grant money aimed to protect public health.

It targets the H1N1 virus, which is the most common cause of the flu in humans.

“With flu season around the corner, we must remain vigilant and do all we can to prepare our nation and protect public health,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a media statement. “These grants will give states valuable resources to step up their flu preparedness efforts.”

The amount distributed to Florida is $20,823,635. Of that, $15,474,914 will go toward public emergency response grants and the remainder will go toward hospital preparedness. A total of $350 million will be distributed nationwide.

The Obama Administration has launched a public service announcement competition. Anyone can record and submit a video entry through the aforementioned Web site. The entries will be judged by experts in the field and the winner will receive a $2,500 prize and the opportunity to have his or her announcement aired on national television.

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