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CDC: U.S. may need 600 million swine flu vaccine doses
115 million doses of seasonal flu are distributed annually in U.S.
Most vaccine production involves traditional route of growing virus in eggs
New technologies, such as using caterpillar cells, are getting attention
1976 swine flu vaccine program ended because some people became paralyzed
updated 9:21 a.m. EDT, Wed July 1, 2009
(CNN) -- Questions abound about how to best inoculate the world against swine flu as health officials plan for a campaign that could dwarf any previous flu vaccination effort.
Among the issues to be resolved are the amount of vaccine likely to be available, the timing of the vaccine's availability, how it would be distributed, who would provide the shots, who would pay for them and whether it will be possible to track potential side effects.
At a recent meeting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials said U.S. demand could reach 600 million doses of vaccine, enough for two doses for each of the approximate 300 million people in the United States. That's in case two doses are required for children and adults under 50, CDC representatives said.
That would come on top of the 115 million doses of seasonal flu that are distributed annually, health officials said Friday.
Although there has been no official decision to undertake a major vaccination campaign, senior officials are hinting strongly that they would recommend such an effort.
Congress passed a supplemental appropriation for $7.5 billion, which President Obama recently signed, to cover the costs of preparing for the virus, which includes a vaccination campaign, CDC spokesman Thomas Skinner said....