The first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5, U.S. health officials said.
These early batches of vaccine will protect 6 million to 7 million people. Over time, the government expects to have a total of 250 million doses of the new vaccine, although 10% is promised to other countries.
The U.S. shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics and other providers designated by each state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials in Atlanta said at a news conference. Most of the initial doses will be a nasal spray form of vaccine, but the majority of doses during flu season will be shots.
CDC officials also said that swine flu was widespread in 26 states, up from 21 states a week ago. Reports suggest the swine flu has caused more than 600 deaths and more than 9,000 hospitalizations.