25 Cities and States Order Swine Flu Vaccine

ATLANTA Twenty-five cities and states have ordered swine flu vaccine, and the first doses should be administered Tuesday, officials said Thursday.

An estimated 6 to 7 million doses of vaccine should be out next week, and they should include both shots and the nasal spray form of the vaccine. But the first 600,000 doses available Tuesday will all be nasal spray, said officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 60 states, large cities and territories will be placing swine flu vaccine orders, so nearly half have their orders in and more are placing them this week, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, who heads the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The states that have placed orders include Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., are also on the list.

At a press conference Thursday, Schuchat also said about 300,000 pediatric, liquid doses of the antiviral drug Tamiflu have been released from a national medicine stockpile to address a shortage. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius approved the release Wednesday.

The CDC doesn’t have an exact count of swine flu deaths and hospitalizations, but existing reports suggest the infection has caused more than 600 deaths and more than 9,000 hospitalizations since the virus was first identified in April.

The government keeps more careful count of deaths of pregnant women and children attributed to swine flu. The CDC is aware of 28 deaths of pregnant women and about 50 of children.

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