Americans Line Up for H1N1 Vaccine

Three-year-old Clayton Mathiason, of Omaha, Neb., receives a dose of H1N1 vaccine via nasal spray from nurse Amanda Stern at Physician's Clinic, affiliated with Omaha's Methodist Health System, in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

With 27 states reporting widespread activity of influenza, the long awaited H1N1 vaccine has arrived, though CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says administering the new vaccine may not be so easy.

In order to meet demand in the United States for the H1N1 vaccine, the government has ordered 250 million doses in all.

More than 2.2 million doses have been ordered by every state in the country, but who gets those vaccines, and when, is up to individual states.

The nasal spray variety available now is only for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49. It will most likely be given first to those in a priority group that includes health care workers, children and people who care for children.

To see what's going on with H1N1 across the country as the vaccine rolls out, CBS News checked out three different hot spots.

Correspondent Terrell Brown is at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, one of the first hospitals in New York City to receive the H1N1 vaccine. The hospital ordered 120,000 doses of the vaccine, which comes in the form of a nasal spray, but so far only 500 doses have arrived.

Yesterday, two children were among the first patients to receive the vaccine.

With only a handful of doses available, the fact of the matter is most healthy people are going to have to wait.

In Austin, Texas, Dr. Pat Crocker reports that hundreds have fallen ill while waiting for the vaccine. "The activity has remained high as we have been seeing about 350 to 400 hundred patients daily," says Crocker.

At the Dell Children's Hospital, where Dr. Crocker is Head of Emergency Medicine, they've had to erect a tent outside the hospital to deal with the overflow of patients waiting to receive the vaccine.

"It allows us to see patients a little quicker and a higher volume rather than take them into the emergency department," explains Crocker.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports that Oklahoma has been one of the states hardest hit by the virus, with H1N1 doubling the everyday case-loads in hospital emergency rooms and changing the way they do business.

At Oklahoma City's Children's Hospital, three children with H1N1 are critically ill. While two of the children are improving, hospital officials say the third child could go either way.

  • Jennifer Ashton

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