September 25, 2009
ATLANTA (AP) - The first swine flu vaccine should be in some
doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5, U.S. health officials said
These early batches of vaccine will protect 6 million to 7 million people. Over time, the government expects to have a total of 250 million doses of the new vaccine, although 10 percent of that has been promised to other countries.
The U.S. vaccine shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics
and other providers designated by each state, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention officials said at a press conference. Most
of the initial doses will be a nasal spray form of vaccine, but the
majority of doses during flu season will be shots.
CDC officials also said swine flu is widespread in 26 states
now, up from 21 a week ago.
Some possible good news - the intensity is trending down a
little in the Southeast. The percentage of doctor's office visits
for flu-like illnesses fell slightly in Georgia and some other
states. However, the improvement is only slight and it's not clear
if it's the start of a national trend or not, CDC officials said.
The CDC doesn't have an exact count of swine flu deaths and
hospitalizations, but existing reports suggest the infection has
caused more than 600 deaths and more than 9,000 hospitalizations.