Jul 9, 4:36 PM (ET)
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. swine flu vaccinations could begin in October with children among the first in line – at their local schools – the Obama administration said Thursday as the president and his Cabinet urged states to figure out now how they’ll tackle the virus’ all-but-certain resurgence.
“We may end up averting a crisis. That’s our hope,” said President Barack Obama, who took time away from the G-8 summit in Italy to telephone another summit back home – the 500 state and local health officials meeting to prepare for swine flu’s fall threat.
No final decision has been made on whether to vaccinate Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stressed. That depends largely on studies with experimental batches that are set to start the first week of August – to see if they’re safe and seem to work and to learn whether they require one or two doses.
But if all goes well, the federal government will buy vaccine from manufacturers and share it for free among the states, which must then “try and get this in the arms of the targeted population as soon as possible,” Sebelius said.
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