H1N1 Vaccines Begin to Ship

New York The /*H1N1 vaccine*/ has arrived, but don't roll up your sleeve just yet. The initial shipments are so small that most states are reserving them for health workers and in some cases children.

600,000 thousand doses of nasal spray and 6-7 million shots have been shipped out in the U.S. Another 40 to 50 million will arrive in the coming weeks.

"This is clearly the most ambitious influenza vaccination program ever mounted in the United States or anywhere in the world," said Dr. William Schaffner with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

The vaccine priority list includes:
-- pregnant women
-- health care workers
-- young people 6 months to 24 years old
-- People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes

"I do want people to feel some sense of urgency about getting vaccinated. I think it's important. It's not something they should put off for six months," said Dr. Mel Kohn with the Oregon Public Health Department.

But a recent survey finds that about 6 in 10 adults aren't sure they'll get vaccinated and about 4 in 10 parents are not certain they'll get their children vaccinated. Some doctors are even advising patients to postpone vaccination.

"We don't know how well this works. We don't know how long it will last. There's a lot of unknowns," said Pediatrician Dr. Ira Rubin.

ABC News Senior Health & Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser is convinced it is safe and plans on giving the shot to his children. He does say pregnant women should wait for the injectable form of the vaccination. "The nasal spray has a live virus that's not safe for pregnant women. The shot is perfectly safe for pregnant women."

Things will really start to ramp up in mid-October. At least 40-million /*H1N1*/ doses will be available by then, with more arriving each week after that.

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