H1N1 Vaccination Nation

October 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Swine Flu vaccine is being shipped out and administered nationwide. But local health departments in the Valley are waiting for their first shipments. Meanwhile, some patients are still wondering if the vaccine is right for them. The government's ambitious plan to inoculate at least half the country from Swine Flu began with two squirts of mist. The nasal-spray form of the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine is available in 14 states Tuesday morning.

Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky were among the first states to receive the vaccine.

"The first few doses we're getting we're targeting for healthcare workers across the country because we need those individuals to be able to show up to take care of people who may become ill," said Kentucky Health Commissioner Dr. William Hacker.

Later this week, 6 to 7-million doses of "injectible" H1N1 vaccine will arrive across the country at hospitals, clinics, schools and doctor's offices. Another 20-million doses will be shipped every week after that.

The government has ordered 250-million doses of the vaccine at a cost of $2-billion dollars. Enough, officials say, to inoculate half the country.

"We are, some states, especially in the southeast, very hard hit with the flu . Northeast, not much activity right now. Hopefully, we get people vaccinated before the flu comes through their communities," said ABC News Medical Correspondent Dr. Richard Besser.

Doctor's offices are being inundated with patients' questions about the vaccine. The phones lines are busy and the waiting rooms are full.

Besides health care workers, priority will be given to pregnant women, those between 6 months and 24-years old, and people who have conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

Those at low-risk may not get the vaccine until November.

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