Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CDC H1N1 Vaccine Update

According to a CDC H1N1 briefing update by Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, 2.4 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine are currently available for ordering in the U.S., with another 2.2 million having already been ordered by states as of October 5th. The first doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine outside of clinical trials were administered on Monday, October 5, 2009.

Pregnant women still remain a high priority group in the pandemic, and since they cannot receive the nasal spray vaccine which is the only type available in the first batch that has been rolled out, the current demand for vaccine exceeds the supply. However, this is expected to change soon, since a “substantial” amount of vaccine is expected to be available by mid-October, which will consist of flu shots, which pregnant women can receive. The current supply-demand challenge is also expected to change as the number of the population who is susceptible to acquiring the virus decreases since people who contract the disease will develop some immunity.

Also, as of today, 50 million doses of the seasonal vaccine have already been distributed, which is much earlier than usual for the seasonal flu vaccine.

Because the people in groups who cannot receive the nasal spray (pregnant women, children under 1 year, adults older than 50 years, and immunocompromised individuals) are still very much at risk of acquiring the virus, the CDC continues to recommend that they stay home if sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash hands often.

The CDC plans to provide information on their website every Friday on vaccine availability.

View the transcript from the briefing at http://cdc.gov/media/transcripts/2009/t091006.htm

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