According to Blose, the vaccine could be released in October or November. Those doses likely will go to at-risk and priority patients. He said federal health officials are working out those details and should have more information available in the coming weeks.
Blose said mass availability could come weeks or months later and as late as the first of the year if there are any delays.
Peak flu season is usually late fall, winter and early spring.
The vaccine probably will be administered in a two-dose series and will not supplant a seasonal flu vaccine, Blose said.
Likewise, a seasonal flu vaccine will not cover swine flu.
If the vaccines are not effective or if any problems are encountered in the production process, Blose said health officials will have to rely on backup plans: Washing hands, covering up coughs, avoiding crowds and ill persons staying at home.
But the best way, Blose said, is the vaccine.
The H1N1 virus has sickened about 200 people in Oklahoma and more than 40,000 nationwide.
It has resulted in 263 deaths, according to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The World Health Organization in June designated H1N1 as a level six pandemic, meaning the infection is widespread in the population.
According to the CDC, children and most adults don’t have any existing resistance to the disease and this has allowed it to spread more quickly.
However, some people older than 60 appear to have some antibodies, or immune resistance, to the strain.