Video: Swine flu vaccine rolls out

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    >>> hello, everyone. i'm dr. nancy snyderman . we begin today. our top story the h1n1 vaccine is here. the first americans vaccinated against swine flu and the children's medical center in memphis received the first shipment of h1n1 vaccine in the nation this morning. and in indianapolis right now, officials are hold agnews conference where health care workers are about to receive their h1n1 vaccinations. with me is an e.r. doc in indianapolis. he'll be receiving his vaccine spray in just a little while. and dr. william schnappter. brave man, necessary thing, why are you going ahead and being the first one in the line?

    >> well, first of all, thank you for having me here today.

    >> you bet.

    >> really, it's about the right thing. it's about providing the safest environment of care for our patients and this is just good patient care on behalf of all primary care providers that are out there in the trenches and both the outpatient clinices and free hospital environment, as well.

    >> charles, you've certainly seen the demonstrations in new york state with health care workers saying that they shouldn't have to be vaccinated. has your hospital taken a stand on whether health care workers should be at the front of the line?

    >> i think our hospital administration has come out in strong support of this and this initiative and it is the right thing to do. we are out there with patients from all different kinds of backgrounds and all kind of different disease processes and all kinds of medical problems and it is the right thing to do in order to protect ourselves and protect our patients. from the effects of this.

    >> bill, there's a new poll that shows 53% of people say they'll get the vaccine, but, boy, that leaves a lot of people who say no and the two things that seem to come up, one, i don't think i'll get the virus anyway, and, two, they haven't seen enough safety data. it looks like the population is divided 50/50. people want to get to the front of the line and get protected and more folks more skeptical and, of course, this is a safe vaccine that has been made the way the seasonal vaccine has been made. it is not only safe, it is very effective.

    >> certainly we realize that we're in this crazy twilight zone between people getting infected and how much vaccine there is going to be a and a rollout. do you think sufficient vaccine in time for people who need it? bill, i'll let you start.

    >> yes, i think in time plenty of vaccine. it will come in a series of shipments. first shipments are rather modest and more will come towards the end of the week and each week thereafter it will get out to the providers and people have to pay attention of where the vaccine it and where it is available. but i think it will get out there.

    >> i would like to take a listen to the state of connecticut , they have set up an h1n1 hotline and i'd like you to take a listen and then we'll talk about it.

    >> thank you for calling the connecticut public of health.

    >> charles, one thing we've spoken on this program before is the fact that there has never, i think, been such a confusing flu season as this one. does indiana have anything like that where people can go and just access concrete information?

    >> absolutely. i think both our state and local health departments have done an incredible job of trying to communicate with the public and providing the access to the information out there. there are hotlines available here for the public to call. those are to be tied in with 911 dispatch eventually, as well. there is a real effort on the part of all the public health officials out there to get the information to the public effectively as well as to get it to their providers effectively so they can educate their patients, as needed.

    >> today it is the flu mist coming out and the nasal mist and this is not intended for the children under 2 or pregnant women and realfry the 2 to 49 healthy age population.

    >> that's absolutely correct.

    >> thank you, sir. thank you, both.

    >> well, thank you.

    >> thanks, nancy.

    >> you bet.

    >>> stay with msnbc for continuing

updated 10/5/2009 12:15:56 PM ET 2009-10-05T16:15:56

After much ballyhoo, vaccinations against the swine flu become available this week. But don't try to make that appointment just yet.

This week's initial shipments to states are so small that, with a few exceptions for children, most states are reserving them for health workers so they'll stay healthy enough to care for the flu-stricken and vaccinate others.

The idea is to keep the health care providers healthy so they can deal with the rest of us.

Full inoculations won't gear up until mid-month, when at least 40 million doses to fight the H1N1 flu will have rolled out, with more arriving each week after that.

Only then can you can queue up for your swine flu shot.

This is uncharted territory — you really can't plan too far ahead to say, "I'll schedule my shot on Oct. 16 at Clinic X." Only as shipments start arriving will local doctors, clinics, school vaccination programs and drugstores get word that their doses are coming and how much. Each state health department decides that.

People will have to stay tuned.

"Take a deep breath, be patient, wait a couple of days, make another phone call and cut everyone a little slack, because it's a little hectic out there, folks," says Dr. William Schaffner, a flu vaccine specialist at Vanderbilt University.

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

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