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Officials Stress Safety as Swine Flu Vaccine Arrives
Date:10/6/2009

Shots are made in same way as seasonal flu vaccine; no serious side effects reported, CDC says,,

TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- As Americans begin to receive the first doses of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, federal health officials stressed again Tuesday the product's safety.

During an afternoon press conference, the chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reiterated that the vaccine is safe and effective with no serious side effects yet reported.

"With the production of this strain [of vaccine], we have cut no corners," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "This flu vaccine is made as flu vaccine is made each year, by the same companies, in the same production facilities, with the same procedures, with the same safety safeguards."

"We have had hundreds of millions of people vaccinated against flu with flu vaccine made in this way. That enables us to have a high degree of confidence in the safety of the vaccine," he added.

The first shipments of the H1N1 vaccine are arriving at distribution centers throughout the country this week. These initial doses are in the form of a nasal spray (FluMist). Health-care workers, children over 2 years of age, and adults who care for infants are being encouraged to get their vaccinations now, according to the CDC.

Some two million doses of the FluMist vaccine have been shipped. The first doses of the injectable version of the vaccine will start shipping next week, Frieden said. The H1N1 virus has not mutated, he added, so the vaccine should be a good match.

Frieden noted that getting vaccine distribution up and running is a complex process and there will be glitches in the first few weeks. Already demand is outstripping supply, he said. "We expected it to be bumpy in the first few weeks," he said.

The U.S. government is still hoping to have 40 million doses of the vaccine distributed by late October and 190 milli
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