WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) — Some 40 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine that expired Wednesday are set to be crushed and incinerated, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the 40 million doses represent nearly 25 percent of the 162 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine that were available to the public, CNN reported.
An estimated 90 million doses of the H1N1q vaccine were dispensed during the pandemic of 2009-2010, with 80 million Americans vaccinated, or 25 percent of the population. Children age 9 and under were given two doses of the vaccine.
“Our decisions regarding vaccine production were in line with the existing threat at the time such decisions were made,” Bill Hall, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN.
“Although there were many doses of vaccine that went unused, it was much more appropriate to have been prepared for the worst case scenario than to have had too few doses.”
States that still have H1N1 vaccine still in stock are being encouraged by the federal government to continue to store the vaccine in case there is a spike in H1N1 flu before the seasonal flu vaccine is available in the fall. H1N1 is being included in the next seasonal flu vaccine.
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