With 46 states reporting widespread flu activity, the leader for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the H1N1 virus has now caused more than 1,000 deaths and more than 20,000 hospitalizations in the U.S.
“We are now in a period where vaccine availability is increasing steadily, but far too slowly,” said Thomas Frieden, director for the Atlanta-based CDC. As of Oct. 23, there are a little more than 16 million doses available, and more than 11 million doses are in communities, Frieden said.
The virus still continues to increasingly affect children and young adults, although officials cannot predict if or when that will change.
“And again we're not seeing significant increases in resistance or genetic change in the virus that would make it less susceptible to vaccine,” Frieden said. More than half of the available vaccine is in the injectable, rather than the nasal, form, according to Frieden, who also said preliminary reports show that most of the individuals who have received the vaccine so far are children.