Federal health officials meet with Minnesota media on H1N1by Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its agencies met with members of the Minnesota media Tuesday to talk about the nation's pandemic influenza response.
State and local public health officials also participated in the session which was held in Minneapolis.
Similar to meetings held in the New York and Washington D.C. media markets, much of the discussion was off-the-record. Officials said the idea was to share information about their vaccination campaign and give media time to meet with the government's top health officials.
Health officials also addressed why the vaccine is in such low supply right now. The federal government had hoped to have more than a 100 million doses available by now.
However, the virus used to make the vaccine didn't grow as well in eggs as they expected and some manufacturers also had trouble juggling the demands of making two different vaccines at one time - the seasonal vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.
Coupled with the public health campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated, officials said it created a lot of demand for the vaccine among a certain segment of the population.
As of today there are 41 million doses of vaccine available in the U.S. Minnesota has received about 650,000 doses, which is still not enough to vaccinate everyone in the highest priority groups.
Details are expected by Friday on whether counties will be able to go ahead with their clinics next week to vaccinate kids six months through 9 years of age.
The state is hoping that is still on track.
- All Things Considered, 11/10/2009, 5:20 p.m.