U.S. MOVES TO MASS VACCINATE ENTIRE POPULATION PREGNANT WOMAN AND CHILDREN FIRST
JULY 10 2009
Some Czech newspapers speculated - July 10 at the time that Baxter was embroiled in a conspiracy to provoke a pandemic from which it would reap billions in profits from producing the vaccine to counter a bird flu outbreak.
School-age children will be a key target population for a pandemic flu vaccine in the fall and may get their shots at school in a mass vaccination campaign not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1950s.
The federal government should get about 100 million doses of vaccine by mid-October if the current production by five companies goes as planned. However, enough vaccine for wide use by the 120 million people especially vulnerable to infection with the newly emerged strain of H1N1 influenza virus won't be available until later in the fall.
Those were among the messages administration officials delivered to 500 state, territorial, city and tribal health officials Thursday at a "flu summit" held at the National Institutes of Health's Bethesda, Md., campus.
Children between 6 months and 18 years old, pregnant women, adults with chronic illnesses and health care workers would probably be first in line for the pandemic flu vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the gathering.
The federal government has spent about $1 billion on pandemic flu vaccine, with about $7 billion available for more purchases and pandemic countermeasures.
The H1N1 virus, derived from two strains of influenza virus that circulates in pigs, emerged in late in Mexico and southern California. More than 1 million Americans have become ill from it, and 170 have died. Worldwide, it has killed at least 420 people.
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