Video: Napolitano: U.S. dealing with vaccine shortage

  1. Closed captioning of: Napolitano: U.S. dealing with vaccine shortage

    >> morning. here's lester.

    >>> the swine flu virus has gone from bad to worse with the cdc reporting a record number of deaths among children from the virus last week. 10 million more doses of vaccine expected this week as manufacturers struggle to catch up with the demand. for more on what the government is doing to catch up with the pandemic, we're joined by janet napolitano . madame secretary, good to see you.

    >> we talked to secretary sebelius yesterday who said more vaccine is coming online but the fact there is a shortage and the fact that your agency is coordinating the government response, have you had to take another look at your worst case scenarios ?

    >> not really. you know, we planned all along for a worst case scenario and we're in the midst of the pandemic right now. the manufacturers are beginning to roll the vaccine off the line. there's another 10 million doses this week. we released the tamiflu stockpile for pediatrics. that's released. over 150,000 distribution centers across the united states . you know, it's a terrible epidemic. we know that kids are getting sick and parents are getting frustrated but we're working our way through this problem.

    >> is there anything predictable about the spread of the flu? is it following the pattern when we talked about this back in april?

    >> we did. yes indeed. we thought that it would be widespread. that it would be widespread by about now. we thought that actually it would be widespread before vaccine was commonly available. and so one of our chief jobs has been to make sure the business of the country continues and other things go on even while we're in the midst of this epidemic.

    >> you mentioned the government released a stockpile of pediatric tamiflu . i want to ask you about some of the things that are going on on the internet. tamiflu , things being marketed as tamiflu , false cures, shampoos, is the government doing anything to crackdown on these sort of scams out there?

    >> absolutely. the fda is all over that on these tamiflu scams. these vaccine scams. we ask people to go to to get accurate information. i'm sure that there will be a lot of activity by state attorneys general and others against these scam artists .

    >> i have to ask you after 9/11 a lot of people were talking about bioterror, smallpox attacks, those sorts of things, has this flu pandemic helped in your planning for this sort of thing? are there lessons being learned here that could be applied in such a situation?

    >> i think there are lessons learned any time you go through an event of this magnitude. once we're through the worst of it, we are keeping close track and we'll go back later and see what are lessons learned and how can we be better prepared next time?

    >> we look forward to talking to you again at some point. secretary napolitano, thank you for being with us this morning.

    >> thank you.

    >>> let's get more of this

updated 11/1/2009 1:40:45 PM ET 2009-11-01T18:40:45

A senior adviser to President Barack Obama says the government will catch up to the demand for swine flu vaccine within a week.

Obama adviser David Axelrod says the manufacturers of the vaccine were wrong when they advised the administration earlier this year that they would have 40 million doses ready near the end of October. Instead, only 28 million doses of vaccine were available.

Axelrod says 10 million more doses are expected to be available this week. He predicted that the U.S. will have all the vaccine it needs "in very short order."

The swine flu vaccination program began Oct. 5. The delivery of the vaccine has frustrated people worried about the new H1N1 virus.

Axelrod appeared Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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


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