In this video, NewsHour Health Unit correspondent Betty Ann Bowser reports on concerns over the possible H1N1 flu vaccine shortage that is causing chaos at hospitals as flu season approaches.
She visits a Maryland public health clinic where about 2,000 area residents have lines up to get vaccinated against H1N1, but the county had only 249 doses of injectable swine flu vaccine.
Health officials say that pregnant women, very young children and people who are already sick are most at risk. They will be first to receive the vaccine.
The Center for Disease Control says that while production of the vaccine is behind schedule, they expect widespread availability by mid-November.
"Over time, we will be able to meet the need. I mean, more vaccine will be coming. I understand that it was slow in its production for the month of October." - Dr. Ulder Tillman, public health officer, Montgomery County, Maryland
"It's a question of patience. So far, this disease is still in the mild-to-moderate range. We have not experienced some of the severity, but we do have hospitalizations in the state, and we have had 10 deaths in the state." - Dr. Ulder Tillman, public health officer, Montgomery County, Maryland
"There is enough vaccine, and will be, to vaccinate every American who wants to be vaccinated. We are pushing it out as quickly as we can." - Kathleen Sebellius, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary
1. What is H1N1 or swine flu?
2. How does H1N1 differ from the regular seasonal flu?
1. Are you worried about getting H1N1? Why or why not?
2. Have you or anyone you know gotten the H1N1 virus?
3. What kinds of steps is your school taking to prevent the spread of the disease? Are you changing your habits at all this flu season?
4. Will you get the vaccine? Do you think everyone should? Why or why not?