Now that we are all convinced of the need, and the safety of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine however distribution, availability and demand is proving to be unpredictable. Suppliers of the vaccine are having trouble producing the vaccine as quickly as demanded. Vaccine manufacturers state that growing the vaccine is a time consuming process and they are committed to not cutting any corners in production to ensure potency and safety. We are encouraged to be patient and wait our turn according to our risk factors.
According to the CDC the first targeted group to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine has not yet been covered. This target group includes pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age (because they are too young to receive the vaccine), healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases they will not make the original estimates for vaccine delivery for the end of the month. The CDC had predicted 40 million doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine would be available by the end of October. In reality the actual availability will be 10 — 12 million doses less. Providers anticipate they will have more availability for the vaccine by mid November.
The distribution process for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine is based on the current process for shipping vaccine to approved providers. To qualify as a vaccine provider in a community a provider must demonstrate the capability to receive, store and administer vaccines appropriately. Hospitals, physicians and clinics order the 2009 H1N1 vaccine through their state’s health department. Each state health department creates a project area and vaccines are allocated to each project area in proportion to its population. The current status is that each project area is receiving only a fraction of what they need. As of October 14th, the CDC states 11.4 million doses of flu vaccine were available to be ordered and 8 million doses had been ordered by state health departments and almost 6 million doses have been shipped to all 50 states.
Below are the numbers by state on the current vaccine shipment to project areas.
|Project Areas||Total Doses Shipped
as of 10/14/09
|District of Columbia||14500|
|Federal Worker Program*||13000|
|New York City||151000|
|Northern Mariana Islands||2400|
|Republic of Palau||1300|
|*For more information, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/pandemic/memos/H1N1_20090930.asp|