WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Healthcare workers in Indiana and Tennessee will be among the first to get swine flu vaccines in the United States on Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Vaccination clinics are scheduled for Monday morning for staff at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee and Wishard Health Services in Indianapolis, the CDC said.
Last week, the center said the first doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine would arrive on Tuesday. The first vaccines to administered will be AstraZeneca unit MedImmune’s nasal spray.
The U.S. government has ordered about 250 million doses from five companies — Sanofi-Aventis SA, CSL Ltd MedImmune, Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline. MedImmune had especially good production of the H1N1 vaccine and has been the first to make doses available.
The vaccines will trickle in at a rate of about 20 million doses a week, and officials are unsure how many Americans will actually get them. The U.S. government is providing them for free,
but clinics and retailers may charge to administer them.
The picture is further complicated by seasonal flu vaccination, which started last month.
Pandemic H1N1 has been circulating since it was first identified in two U.S. children last March but it has picked up speed since schools returned from their summer break in August.
The CDC said it is not especially deadly, but it is affecting younger people than seasonal flu usually does and at a time of year when there is generally little or no influenza.
Dozens of children and at least 28 pregnant women in the United States have died from the virus and at least 100 pregnant women were sick enough with it to be hospitalized, the CDC said.
Pregnant women, healthcare workers and people with special health conditions including heart disease and diabetes are supposed to be the first to get the vaccine.