Earlier this week, CDC officials noted a troubling uptick in the number of H1N1 cases in several southeastern states, particularly Georgia.
The H1N1 vaccine first became available in the United States on Oct. 5, 2009, stated the new CDC survey, published in the April 2 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In most states, the vaccination rate for H1N1 among children was higher than in previous seasons, the researchers noted.
However, only about 37 percent of health-care workers reported having been vaccinated against H1N1 during the same time period. That compares with 62 percent of health-care workers receiving the regular seasonal flu shot during the 2009-10 season, the highest level ever.
Health experts recommend that all health-care professionals be vaccinated every year against the flu.
According to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, approximately 60 million Americans have been infected with H1N1 and 256,000 people have been hospitalized since it first appeared late last spring. There have been close to 12,000 deaths from the virus which, while notable, is still far less than the 36,000 deaths usually reported from the seasonal flu each year.
The nation now has 126 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine so there should be no waiting line for the shot.
"Most of the vaccines have not expired," Schuchat said. "Some of the vaccine will expire by the end of June and some not until 2011. We're suggesting that providers, pharmacies and health departments hold on to their vaccine as long as they haven't expired and keep offering them. We may see situations like what we're seeing in Georgia, where ongoing vaccinations could be very beneficial.
"When we get the new season
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