First doses of H1N1 vaccine arriving by Oct. 6
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The first doses of H1N1 flu vaccine could be arriving in Pennsylvania and other states by Oct. 6.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin taking states' orders for vaccine at the end of this month, and it will be shipped a few days later, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said yesterday during a teleconference from Atlanta.
Most of the initial shipments will be of FluMist nasal spray vaccine, recommended only for people 24 months to 49 years old. It is made from a weakened live virus and is not for people with underlying health conditions. "As it happened, FluMist grew faster [in the production laboratories] and will be available sooner," Dr. Frieden said.
The regular shot-type vaccine for swine flu won't be available in significant quantities until mid- to late October, he said. By that time there will be 40 million doses of all swine flu vaccine available and the five manufacturing facilities will continue to ship substantial amounts of vaccine every week for the rest of the year.
Most people will need only one dose to build up immunity against the H1N1 virus.
The vaccine is distributed to states under a formula based on population.
In Pennsylvania, the Health Department is busy planning its system of distributing vaccine to providers.
A department spokeswoman said the state is expected to have 21/2 million doses of the various types of vaccine by mid- to late October.
First Published September 26, 2009 12:00 am