ATLANTA — U.S. health officials say the first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Monday, Oct. 5.
The first batches of vaccine will be 6 million to 7 million doses of nasal spray. Forty million doses of injectable vaccine are expected to arrive by mid-October, with another 10 million to 20 million doses available weekly after that. Over time, the government expects to have a total of 250 million doses of the new vaccine. Ten percent of that will go to other countries.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the U.S. vaccine shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics and other providers designated by each state.
But states are in varying stages of preparedness when it comes to distributing the new vaccine, so some will be more efficient than others, warned Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC.
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"In the coming weeks, there's going to be some roughness. It's going to be a little bumpy," he said.
In some places, people who want the vaccine won't be able to get it right away.
"We ask people to be patient, to understand that we're getting out the vaccine as soon as possible," Frieden said.
Eventually, everyone who wants to be immunized against H1N1 flu will be able to get the vaccine, he added.
CDC officials also said swine flu is widespread in 26 states now, up from 21 a week ago.
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.
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