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Swine Flu Wanes, But Future Uncertain
Date:12/17/2009

The lull in the outbreak is a good time to get vaccinated, federal officials urge ,,

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- As the current wave of H1N1 swine flu continues to wane, U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone get vaccinated in case another outbreak strikes this winter.

And now that shortages of the H1N1 flu vaccine have eased, it's an ideal time to get vaccinated, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a morning press conference.

"Our message is, take advantage of the increased supply and get vaccinated as soon as you can," she said.

Anyone who wants to be vaccinated can, Sebelius said, since the vaccine is no longer reserved for just those at high risk for catching the H1N1 flu.

High-risk groups include children, pregnant women, young adults and anyone with a chronic health condition. In addition, health-care workers and people who take care of infants are a high priority for the H1N1 vaccine.

By next week, 100 million doses of vaccine will be available, Sebelius said. Today, 99 million doses are available, she added. Earlier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the total number of doses is expected to reach 190 million.

Speaking at the press conference, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said that "whether we have seen the last of swine flu isn't known."

"We have an ebbing second wave, but an uncertain future," Frieden said. "We don't know how many cases there will be between now, which is traditionally the beginning of the flu season, and May, when flu season traditionally ends."

Some experts think there will be lots more cases, while others think there won't be a resurgence of the swine flu, Frieden said. "Others think we don't know. That's probably the most accurate thing to admit," he said. "Only the future will tell what the future brings."

The swine flu continues to
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