Meanwhile, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Monday at the press conference that the shortage of H1N1 swine flu vaccine continues, because of variables with the egg-based production process.
"Expect continued challenges over the days ahead, but over time we expect that supply will start to increase and eventually catch up with the tremendous demand we are seeing now," she said. "It's getting better each day, but, unfortunately, it is not where we want it to be yet."
Schuchat said the available doses are being targeted to those most at risk, including pregnant women, children, young adults, parents or caretakers of infants, health-care workers, and older adults with chronic health conditions.
As of Friday, there were 26.6 million doses of vaccine in circulation, up from 16.1 million doses the week before, according to the CDC. First estimates by manufacturers had put the vaccine supply at 40 million doses by the end of October and 190 million by the end of the year.
The vaccine manufacturers have encountered several problems, which have slowed the production process. The main problem is that the virus grows more slowly than was predicted.
Over the last several years, the federal government has invested in newer, faster ways to make vaccines, Fauci said. "But it takes years to get where we want to be," he said.
The current technology requires growing the virus in eggs, Fauci said. "There are many fragilities about that, one of which is that the virus is variable in its growth -- if we are lucky it grows very well and we have a good yield on time," he said.
Also Monday, independent health advisers were to begin monitoring the safety of the H1N1 vaccine, an extra preventive measure the federal government promised in this year's unp
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