Another Cut in H1N1 Vaccine Availability Announced
October 23, 2009 • 10:23AM

Throughout the nation, one state after another has been forced to shut down H1N1 vaccination clinics as the supply of serum runs out. One state after another is being informed that there is no estimated time on when additional serum may become available. (The CDC says that the virus simply doesn't grow as fast as expected.) In late summer, CDC announced that 80 million doses of the vaccine would be available by October. However, that number has been cut over and over. Approximately two weeks ago, the CDC announced that the availability projection was being scaled back by 33%. Last week, another scale-back, this time 25%, was announced. According to a CDC spokesman, the actual number of vaccine doses that are expected to be available by the end of October is now around 30 million.

By the end of October, a total of 50 million fewer Americans than the initially projected number of 80 million will have received the vaccine. In addition to those 50 million, how many tens of millions of other Americans will be left vulnerable to a potentially deadly pandemic?

While there is no competent overview of the world situation available, either in the US or anywhere else in the world, the following picture from Japan indicates the growing extent of the pandemic globally.

The number of public facilities in Japan that were closed last week, due to an outbreak of H1N1 influenza, was up 30 percent from the previous week. The Japanese health ministry says 8,534 schools and other public facilities across Japan were closed during the week through October 17th.