Share “Oklahoma kids to get shot at swine flu...”

VALLERY BROWN Modified: July 24, 2009 at 9:56 am •  Published: July 24, 2009

/> 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.

Vaccine doses headed to U.S.

• The U.S. expects to have 160 million doses of swine flu vaccine available in October, even though manufacturers worldwide are having trouble brewing the shots, federal health officials said Thursday. More vaccine would trickle out over the following months.

• A surprise bright spot: The U.S. has the world’s only nasal-spray flu vaccine, and FluMist’s maker announced Thursday that it’s producing plenty — so many millions of doses a month that it can’t keep up with putting them into the special sprayer required to use it. So Maryland-based MedImmune Inc. is working with the government to see if it can race out a different method for fall, simply dripping its swine flu vaccine into people’s noses.

The Associated Press

Eight soldiers at the Mc-Alester Army Ammunition Plant have tested positive for swine flu in what health officials say is the largest single outbreak of the virus in the state. The plant’s medical director, Dr. Norman McAlester, said Wednesday most of the soldiers have recovered. He said all the soldiers who were ill wore face masks and were isolated from others who were taking part in a national training exercise at the plant.

The Associated Press


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