Video: CDC: Swine flu vaccine rollout will be 'bumpy'

  1. Transcript of: CDC: Swine flu vaccine rollout will be 'bumpy'

    ANN CURRY, anchor: We have an update tonight on the status of the swine flu vaccine, which is expected soon, but where it becomes available and how fast could be an issue, at least in the early going. Here's NBC 's chief science correspondent Robert Bazell .

    ROBERT BAZELL reporting: The Centers for Disease Control is anticipating problems when the first small amounts of swine flu vaccine become available in the next few weeks.

    Dr. THOMAS FRIEDEN (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director): It's going to be a little bumpy because, in different states there's be different levels of preparedness and readiness and planning. There will undoubtedly be places where people want to get vaccinated and can't.

    BAZELL: To make matters more challenging, the initial doses of vaccine will only be flu mist , the nasal spray . This is recommended only for healthy people age two through 49 and not for pregnant women , who are near the top of the list of those to be vaccinated. The government is anticipating both intense demand for the vaccine and fears about its safety. Officials say they have every reason to believe it will be safe, and they will be monitoring it closely. But they expect reports of people having adverse reactions, which may turn out to be nothing more than coincidence.

    Dr. FRIEDEN: Misinformation spreads more rapidly even than the flu. So any rumor has the risk of creating concern, and we need to deal with that as it arises.

    BAZELL: Meanwhile, the latest numbers out today show the swine flu epidemic in America continues to grow. The virus is still in every state, with widespread outbreaks in 26. The American College Health Association finds that fully 91 percent of the campuses it surveys now report cases.

    Unidentified Man: That's fine. Just like that.

    BAZELL: Visits to doctors and hospitals for flulike illness climbed again last week. It has been more than 50 years since any flu came on so strong so early. Robert Bazell , NBC News , New York .

updated 9/25/2009 7:10:36 PM ET 2009-09-25T23:10:36

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.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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