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Production Problems Plague Delivery of Swine Flu Vaccine
Date:10/22/2009

d because of the time it takes to grow the antigen for the vaccine. There is nothing that can be done to speed that process, because it's important for the vaccine to be as effective as possible and follow all the safety protocols."

"We think we made very good progress in the six months from May to today, when millions of doses of safe H1N1 vaccine have been ordered by the states," she added. "While this may feel like a slow start, it's actually a significant achievement to have what we believe is a safe and very effective vaccine to fight a pandemic flu this quickly. Every American who wants and needs to get an H1N1 vaccine will be able to get one."

One doctor reported other roadblocks when he tried to order the H1N1 vaccine.

"I had to spend at least four hours of my time on the computer with much frustration," said Dr. Stuart Beeber, an attending pediatrician at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "First, there were temporary passwords and temporary pins, then regular pre-certification numbers, then I had to go to another Web site."

"I had to promise not to sell or transfer the vaccine, that I wouldn't charge more than pennies, I had to have a refrigerator with constant monitoring of temperature, etcetera, etcetera. I had to sign my life away," he continued. "Then they sent me maybe 25 percent of the total I had requested -- 400 doses, half the nasal spray and half the injectable with mercury. It's pick your poison: nasal spray with live virus or mercury."

Beeber said he believes he was the first doctor in his county to get the vaccine.

Until the swine flu vaccine is widely available, experts are urging people to follow oft-stated guidelines, namely avoid crowds, use good respiratory etiquette (i.e. sneeze into your sleeve) and wash your hands frequently.

"Although vaccines are probably the best option, they're not the only option," said Dr. John Treanor, chief of the
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