Approximately 37-percent of children in the United States received the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, according to statistics released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In their report “Interim Results: Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent and Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health-Care Personnel,” released on April 1, the CDC also disclosed that one-third of those in priority groups (children, young adults, healthcare workers, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions) received the vaccinations.
Rhode Island had the highest rate of vaccinations, while Mississippi had the lowest. Nearly two out of every five people in Rhode Island received the H1N1 flu shot, while only a third of that per capita percentage were administered the vaccine in Mississippi. In total, an estimated 24-percent of all U.S. residents (approximately 72 million to 81 million) had been vaccinated since October 2009.
“We all know that if we had had more vaccine available, more people would’ve received vaccine and we would’ve prevented more disease,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a Thursday news conference.
The CDC findings were released on the same day that Washington Post staff writer Rob Stein noted that there were 138 million unused doses of the vaccine remaining. Of those, approximately 60 million will be donated to poor countries or stored for future use, but more than 71 million vaccines have already been placed in vials or syringes and must be used or disposed of by their expiration dates.
“Did we do as well as we would have liked to? No, not at all,” Schuchat told Stein on Thursday. “But the country did an extraordinary job of responding”¦ We were dealing with a very unusual situation. We had a pandemic. We had young people being killed. We wanted to make sure we had enough. We didn’t want to be short. It was important to us to be able to protect the American people.”
On the Net: