Skip to content

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

U.S. Swine Flu Vaccinations Start Oct. 6

Most of First 6 Million Doses Will Be Nasal Spray Vaccine
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 25, 2009 - Vaccinations against H1N1 swine flu will start on Oct. 6, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said today.

Nearly all of the first 6 million doses of swine flu vaccine are the FluMist nasal spray vaccine. By mid-October, the government plans to deliver some 45 million doses -- including more traditional flu shots -- apportioned to states based on population.

Swine Flu Outbreak: Get the Facts

Swine Flu Slideshow

Learn more about the H1N1 swine flu and see what you can do to stay healthy.

View the slideshow.

"We have a vaccine and it is likely to be effective after a single dose for those over 10, and it is going to be rolling into doctors' offices and clinics," Frieden said at a news conference.

Because the FluMist vaccine cannot be given to pregnant women, kids under age 2, or to those with underlying health problems, the first vaccine doses will go to health care workers and to people caring for or living with infants under 6 months of age.

As flu shots arrive, priority vaccinations will go to pregnant women and to school-age kids. Different states are emphasizing different kinds of programs. Frieden said school-based vaccination programs are especially important.

"We know many kids get sick from flu, and not only is that a problem for them, but they end up spreading flu widely in the community," Frieden said. "So if you protect kids, you probably end up protecting the community as well."

Although the vaccine is right on schedule, it's arriving at least two weeks after the flu pandemic. As of Sept. 19, H1N1 swine flu was widespread in 26 states. Doctors in nine of the 10 U.S. surveillance regions reported elevated rates of flu-like illness -- and virtually all proven cases of flu have been swine flu.

Will it be too late for people to get vaccinated? No, Frieden said. There's no way to tell whether there will be new waves of pandemic flu. And even if 10% of the population gets the flu -- as happened in New York City last spring -- that means 90% of the population remains vulnerable until vaccinated.

Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution 'Bumpy' at First

The CDC is working to ensure equitable vaccine delivery across the nation. But Frieden said some states are better prepared than others to start vaccinating their residents once the federal government delivers the swine flu vaccine to them.

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat