Getting vaccinated against the swine flu should be more trouble-free soon for those who want it, according to health officials latest report on Tuesday, October 27. There are currently 22 million doses of the vaccine available. Even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said earlier this week that plenty of the vaccine is on the way, though she did admit that it is being dispensed as soon as it comes off the production line. She said that at first they were counting on manufacturers to give them the correct numbers. Well apparently, those numbers were much more optimistic than the real thing.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that they are starting to see notable increases in obtainable vaccines. That said, last week produced just 14 million available doses even though previous estimations were that as many as 120 million would be here by the middle of October.
This snail-paced dribble of vaccines has made many Americans angry, some who have waited for hours in line in some areas of the U.S. Frieden believes that this unfortunate scarce supply has made more people want to get vaccinated and it has happened in the past.
One reason for the delay is that the vaccine is grown in eggs in a dependable but very gradual process and smaller amounts were created per egg than what was predicted. Some other snags cropped up but health officials say that the manufacturers smoothed those out and now are making the vaccine more quickly. The government hopes to produce as much as 225 million doses of the new vaccine if it is necessary.
CDC officials say that the virus, which first appeared in April, has killed around 1,000 Americans and made millions of others have a mild illness. The pandemic began as a scary cluster of cases, including Boston, New York and parts of the Southwest. During the summer, it died down somewhat, but as soon as schools opened, it started to increase again in ferocity.
H1N1 cases are beginning to calm down in Georgia and some other parts of the U.S., but still increasing in other areas. Health officials say it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming months.
During the past weekend, President Obama declared that the swine flu as a national emergency. This gave hospitals and health professionals more leeway from federal regulations to deal with the illness.
Sebelius said that she hopes people who have waited in line only to get turned away will come back. Recently she has appeared on “The Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, and “The Early Show” claiming that ultimately there will be enough vaccine supplies “for everyone”.