January 17, 2010

1 In 5 Americans Received H1N1 Vaccine

According to the CDC, 1 in 5 Americans have received the vaccine for the widespread H1N1 virus.

An estimated 55 million became ill from swine flu from the time it was first identified in April through mid-December "” the first eight months of the pandemic. About 246,000 Americans were hospitalized and 11,160 killed, according to the Associated Press.

Two government surveys estimate about 61 million people have gotten either the shot or nasal spray. CDC officials believe these numbers are good.

The surveys also show vaccination rates were a bit higher for people deemed to be especially vulnerable to the new influenza, including pregnant women, children and people with underlying health conditions. Roughly 22 percent of health-care officials and 12 percent of non-elderly adults have also been vaccinated.

CDC spokesman Richard Quartarone told AP, "From our point of view, this looks very successful."

Also, about 29 percent of children ages 6 months through 18 years got vaccine.

Health officials did their best to hold doses for these specific groups, even when the vaccine was in short supply.

The CDC said this has been successful because about 74 percent of administered doses had been given to people in the target groups.

Swine flu infections have been waning since late October, and no states were reporting widespread cases as of last week.


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