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CDC Releases Swine Flu Vaccine Statistics


Sunday Jan 17, 2010 (foodconsumer.org) -- According to a report released on Jan 15 on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, as of Jan 2, twenty percent of the US population (61 million people) have received the swine flu vaccine to prevent influenza A (H1N1) 2009.

Early in July 2009, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the swine flu vaccine available to the initial target groups, which consisted of about 160 million persons.  Additionally, priority groups peopled by 42 million were targeted.   

Those vaccinated included 27.9 percent of persons in the initial target group, 37.5 percent of those in the priority groups and 29.4 percent of children aged 6 months to 18 years.

The report authored by CDC researchers states "Now that an ample supply of 2009 H1N1 vaccine is available, efforts should continue to increase vaccination coverage among persons in the initial target groups and to offer vaccination to the rest of the U.S. population, including those aged ≥65 years."

Also on Jan 15, the CDC released the 2009 H1N1 flu: Situation Update, which stated that "during the week of Jan 3 to 9, 2010, all key flu indicators declines compared to the previous week."

Specifically both visits to doctors for flu-like illness and overall hospitalization rates are declining.  The proportion of deaths due to pneumonia and influenza remains below what is expected for this time of the year.

No states reported widespread flu activity while nine states, including Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia, continue to report regional flu activity.

The seasonal flu seems to be disappearing. The CDC reported in the flu update that almost all of the flu viruses identified thus far continue to be the swine flu viruses, which are similar to the virus used in the swine flu vaccine.

The federal health agency says on its website that it recommends flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and it is now encouraging everyone to receive the swine flu vaccine at this time, now that supply and availability of the vaccine have increased "drastically".

Those who don't like vaccine may make sure they have enough vitamin D in their blood.  Theoretically, vitamin D may help boost the innate immunity against swine flu, according to Dr. John Cannell, director of Vitamin D Council.

At least two physicians, one in Wisconsin and the other in George, observed that patients who used high doses of this vitamin during the peak season were at lower risk of swine flu.

Reporting by David Liu and editing by Rachel Stockton