1 in 5 Americans got swine flu vaccine, CDC reports

ATLANTA — About one in five Americans has been vaccinated against H1N1 flu, according to the government's first detailed estimates of vaccination rates against the pandemic, the Washington Post reported Jan. 16.

The estimate is based on two government telephone surveys done in December and early January. The surveys concluded that an estimated 61 million people — or about 20 percent of the population — got a shot or nasal spray vaccination against the H1N1 virus since the vaccine became available in the fall.

One spokesman from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the numbers are good, considering that it was a hurried campaign against a novel flu virus using a vaccine that did not become available to the public until early October, and then, only in limited supplies.

"From our point of view, this looks very successful," spokesman Richard Quartarone said.

The report backs up a rough estimate used by health officials in recent weeks that showed that more than 60 million Americans had been vaccinated.

It also shows that vaccination rates were a bit higher for people deemed to be especially vulnerable to the new influenza, including children, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions

The results were released Friday through a CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. One survey involved about 6,000 people. The number who responded to the second survey was not included in the report.