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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

CDC says 60 million people have been vaccinated, but 111 million doses have been distributed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, said that, although cases of H1N1 are declining across the country, the virus is still the dominant flu strain. She added that it is important not to become complacent about the risk of H1N1 infection, as a recurrence is possible.

Furthermore, Schuchat noted that an estimated 111 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been distributed. A CDC survey from two weeks ago found that 46 million of those doses had been received, with about 40 percent going to children. The CDC believes about 60 million people have received the vaccine. Schuchat also disputed a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that suggested children younger than 10 years might need only one dose.

"If you have children who are under 10 years of age that have gotten the H1N1 vaccine, it is important to know that your child needs a second dose," she said. "We recommend two doses of H1N1 vaccine about one month apart."

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