The Obama administration is considering whether the country should launch a fall vaccine campaign that administers three jabs, one for seasonal flu and two more to guard against swine flu.
The multibillion-dollar effort would trigger the same concerns that the WHO has to consider. Any move to purchase a large quantity of swine flu vaccine would shift production from seasonal jabs to a special variety. That could create shortfalls of seasonal vaccine in the U.S. or in other countries. The U.S. would need 180 million doses of seasonal vaccine and 600 million doses of vaccine to guard against A/H1N1.
"They have never tried this before, and there is going to be a great deal of confusion," said William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
HHS officials, meanwhile, say that the U.S. is on its way to creating a vaccine that will protect people from swine flu.
- read the report from the Washington Post
ALSO: Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, says the group is already on its way to developing a vaccine. Seed viruses are being prepared as a crucial first-step toward manufacturing a new vaccine. Report
PLUS: Canadian scientists have completed the first full sequencing of the H1N1 strain, which should help make it easier to develop a vaccine. Report