First Doses of H1N1 Vaccine Administered in US
On Monday October 5th, the fight against the H1N1 virus began as Tennessee and Indiana health workers began publicly administering the new vaccine. There is already immediate concern, however, in terms of the number of recipients versus the amount of available vaccine.
The weekly 10-20 million doses of H1N1 vaccine will be distributed equally amongst hospitals across the country. While the H1N1 Task Force has promised that there will be enough for anyone concerned, there is already a discrepancy with the numbers. The LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Tennessee and the Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis have received and administered H1N1 vaccine doses as of today:
The vaccines shipped to both sites and to a few other places around the nation are the first of some 195 million doses the U.S. government has purchased from five vaccine manufacturers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Jay Butler told reporters at the Indianapolis event. That number includes both spray and injectable forms.
The eagerly anticipated vaccine arrives in the wake of what the CDC reports as 16,174 nationwide hospitalizations, a number which drives the public concern for vaccine availability.
Health authorities have acknowledged that the pace of distribution is not fast enough based on the population's demands. They are working with what is currently available and suggest that an ample supply of vaccine will be readily available by mid-October.