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Double H1N1 vaccine, but still not enough

ATLANTA, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Federal health officials said Friday that there is twice as much H1N1 vaccine -- 38 million doses -- available as two weeks ago.

"The majority of this is injectable doses," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a briefing in Atlanta.

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"If all goes well, we are expecting about 8 million doses to be available in the week ahead that's if everything goes well. As vaccine supplies increase, we think things should go better, but we still don't have enough vaccine."

State and local health departments are in the best position to determine how to effectively use and direct the vaccine doses that become available, Schuchat said.

"The key now is focusing on the priority groups, children and young adults up through age 24, pregnant women, parents or caretakers of babies under 6 months. People with chronic conditions and health workers," Schuchat said.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department in Illinois developed an innovative program to provide the H1N1 vaccine to children with special needs via a clinic where the nurse comes out to the car to give the vaccination.

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There have been some 90 million people vaccinated for seasonal flu, but more is needed. Usually seasonal flu strains don't increase until December through May.

"Everything we are seeing is the H1N1 virus," Schuchat said. "Hopefully, there will be additional supplies of seasonal flu vaccine."

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