Americans Must Get Swine Flu Vaccination According
To Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appealed
anew Wednesday for widespread inoculation against a surging swine
flu threat, calling the vaccine "safe and secure."
Sebelius unconditionally vouched for the safety of the vaccine,
saying it "has been made exactly the same way seasonal vaccine
has been made, year in and year out."
Appearing on morning news shows to step up the Obama administration's
campaign for vaccinations, Sebelius said that "the adverse
effects are minimal. ... We know it's safe and secure. ... This
is definitely is a safe vaccine for people to get."
Sebelius was asked on CNN about surveys showing many parents
were wary of getting their children vaccinated for fear the vaccine
has been too hastily prepared and wasn't safe. She replied that
it was targeted specifically at the H1N1 virus and was "right
on target with an immune response."
The HHS secretary appeared as new cases of the flu, particularly
among younger people, have been appearing recently. Some 600 people
have died so far from the flu in this country, and the government
has targeted roughly 90,000 sites to receive the swine flu vaccine
by the end of this month.
"This flu is a younger person's flu," Sebelius said
on NBC's "Today" show. "Kids have no immunity to
the flu ... children are great carriers of bugs and viruses."
Because of the danger of easy transmission, especially in school
and day-care settings, Sebelius said, "We strongly urge parents
to take precautionary steps. Flu kills every year ... and we've
got a great vaccine to deal with it."
"There's going to be plenty of vaccine," the secretary
said. "It's rolling off the production lines right now ...
ahead of schedule, and that's good news... By the end of October
we should have a substantial amount available and begin to vaccinate
a wider population of folks."
Said Sebelius: "There's no question the disease is out there,
which is why today we're rolling out PSAs (public service announcements)
... to make sure people take steps to help prevent the spread
of the disease, and in the meantime we will push the vaccine out
as quickly as we get it off the production lines."
Appearing on CBS's "The Early Show," she said the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention and the President's Advisory
Committee on Immunizations have identified five target populations:
pregnant women, health care workers, children with underlying
health conditions ages 6 months to 24 years, older Americans with
underlying health conditions.
"That's a lot of people," Sebelius said. "That's
about half the population."
"By the end of this week," she added,"we'll begin
to have injectable vaccine also available. We're dealing with
five production companies. That's very good news. But the vaccine
will become available as the lines clear up. So as soon as we
have any vaccine available, we're pushing it out to 90,000 sites
around the country. The early going is a little bumpy but we'll
have a good supply by October."
Reference Sources 129
October 7, 2009