HHS purchases 195 million doses of H1N1 vaccine


NEW YORK Nearly 200 million doses of vaccine for novel A(H1N1) influenza could become available by this fall, according to published reports.

Reuters quoted a Department of Health and Human Services official as saying that the government had bought 195 million doses of vaccine. The U.S. population is approximately 300 million.

Since the flu strain appeared earlier this year, the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. Many health experts fear that if left unchecked, it could spark a devastating pandemic reminiscent of the 1918 Spanish flu, though that flu caused millions of deaths worldwide in part due to lack of medical technologies such as antiviral drugs.

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