posted by GeoT
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US health authorities are hoping to contain what they say is an intensifying swine flu pandemic with a massive A(H1N1) vaccination campaign starting this week.“We expect Friday in our weekly update of FluView that we will be reporting substantial flu illness in most of the country, significant flu activity in virtually all states,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“Most states do have quite a lot of disease right now, and that is unusual for this time of the year,” she said at a press conference on Friday evening.
Schuchat reiterated the importance of vaccination for pregnant women and other groups considered particularly vulnerable to the virus, including children, young adults up to 24 years old, and those suffering from certain other chronic medical problems.
US health authorities on Friday announced plans for a massive vaccination campaign intended to protect millions of Americans, with the first distribution of 600,000 vaccine doses set for Tuesday, two weeks ahead of schedule.
The United States expects to quickly dispense some six or seven million doses and hopes to administer 250 million doses by the end of the year.
CDC: How to Prevent Getting and Spreading H1N1 Flu