News that there will be only forty-five million swine flu vaccine doses avialable for millions more Americans might not be so bad after all. A new study indicates vaccinating kids and parents, skipping the rest of the adults, may be enough.
The initial call was for one hundred twenty million doses of the H1N1 vax to be available by October, but the latest reports put the number at less than half that expected at that time. More should be rolled out as the flu season rolls on, but there were worries that there wouldn’t be enough for the people at highest risk for the complications from the infection.
While the call has been put out for pregnant women and children to get the shots first anyway, followed by caregivers or parents, then helthcare workers and moving on down the line to cover the bulk of the population, the new study out of Yale and Clemson universities adjusts the schedule.
They say school kids, then parents, then healthcare workers. Then, they say, you can stop. The theory is those most likely to transmit the disease should be treated to maximize the vaccine. By preventing the spread, you no longer have to worry about complications – hence no need to treat people who would otherwise be at a higher risk.
Published in the medical journal Science, the study estimates only 40 million Americans will need to be vaccinated – which falls right in line with projected output by the vaccine makers.
You might want to hurry up anyway – or else they might end up on Tamiflu.
Image: flu vaccine.org