Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Begin Distribution of Injectable H1N1 Flu Vaccine

Both the flu shot (in the arm) and nasal spray form of 2009 H1N1 vaccines have now been produced and licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.

The federal government has purchased a total of 250 million doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. 2009 H1N1 vaccine was available starting early October and approximately 40 million doses of licensed vaccine may be available by the end of October. Vaccine availability, however, depends on many factors so these numbers will be frequently updated. The first doses of live attenuated 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine were administered on October 5, 2009. Administration of the 2009 H1N1 flu shot will begin the week of October 12.

There are two forms of seasonal influenza vaccine available to the general population, and the makers of both forms have produced vaccines that are to be used to prevent H1N1 infection. The nasal spray vaccine is a live virus that has been weakened so it doesn't cause disease in healthy people. The injectable vaccine contains an inactivated virus. The nasal spray appeals to some people -- my kids, for example -- because it doesn't involve a needle.