H1N1 flu vaccine arrives in SF

October 30, 2009 12:53:52 AM PDT
Hundreds of people in San Francisco are getting their first vaccine against the H1N1 virus. About 28,000 doses are being given at nine public clinics. But, of course, it won't be enough to meet demand.

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People waited in line two to three hours before city clinics made the vaccine available in both injectable and nasal mist forms.

Jane Bliss said it was worth the wait.

"I think so because it's not a very nice disease," she said.

"I have asthma and he [her son] is little," said Rebecca Lien.

Here's who should be getting the vaccine first:

  • Pregnant women
  • People six months to 24 years old
  • Someone who lives or cares for an infant
  • Health care and emergency respondents
  • And now adults 25 to 64 with a medical condition
"This is such a novel flu virus that we are seeing, many of the elderly have probably been exposed when it's been around in the past. I think the last time was in the 70s, so they'll have a little bit of immunity already," said Anna Valdez from St Anthony's Free Medical Clinic.

A second batch of the vaccine, when it arrives, will go to hospitals and private doctors in San Francisco.

There have been unexpected delays in making the vaccine. The main suppliers are based in Europe and Australia.

Many cities in the U.S. have received fewer doses than anticipated. Still, it is a huge undertaking for a vaccine that is in such in high demand.

According to the CDC, so far 1,000 people in the U.S. have died from confirmed H1N1 flu since April 2009. Ninety-five of those have been children 17 years or younger.

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