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H1N1 Influenza Rates Fall in Some Parts of United States

But disease remains widespread; more than 54 million doses of vaccine have been produced

MONDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although H1N1 influenza is still widespread in most states, there have been declines in some areas of the country, a federal health official announced Nov. 20 at a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press briefing.

During the news conference, Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, said that the disease remains widespread in 43 states, but that's down from 46 states a week ago. She said flu activity is higher now than it typically is during the peak of flu season in midwinter, and she expects many more H1N1 infections in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, the supply of H1N1 vaccine is continuing to grow. As of Friday, 54.1 million doses had been produced, an increase of 11 million since the previous week. The CDC previously predicted there would be 190 million doses available by the end of the year.

"We are in better shape today than we were a couple of weeks ago," Schuchat said. "I just want to say how sorry I am that people have been so frustrated, that people have had to wait in line, that people haven't always found vaccine at the end of the line."

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