CVS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen Brennan stopped by The Early Show Tuesday to talk about flu vaccine supplies, and his take on the H1N1 vaccine.
"We were out here, you had your big van and people were getting vaccinations for the regular seasonal flu a couple of weeks ago. What has been the response before we get H1N1 for the seasonal flu in, because I'm just guessing a lot of people are showing up for those shots?" co-anchor Harry Smith asked.
"There has been a tremendous response to the seasonal flu this year," Dr. Brennan said. "And a lot more people are getting vaccinated. We're seeing people getting vaccinated at much greater rates."
Asked if they have enough vaccine for the seasonal flu, Brennan said, "There are spot shortages everywhere but we're still obtaining vaccine and we still have vaccine in our stores."
Asked if there will be enough H1N1 vaccine to go around, which is just now beginning to come online, Brennan said, "We do believe there will be enough. The government's been very careful in terms of the amount of H1N1 it's ordered and that's coming online right now. It goes from the federal government out to the state health departments and then the state health departments all decide how they'll distribute it from there."
But you feel confident there will be enough of that?" Smith asked.
"We believe so. We think there will be quite a bit H1N1," Brennan said.
Addressing safety concerns about the H1N1 vaccine, Brennan told Smith, "We think it's very safe. We think it's as safe as all the seasonal flu vaccines are. It's manufactured in the same way, to the same specifications and with all the same safety rules in place, so we believe the H1N1 vaccine is safe."
Where is going to be the best place to get it?
"Well, there's going to be a lot of different places to get it," Brennan said. " And it is going to vary somewhat from state to state. One thing that people can do and really should start doing this week in order to find out where they can get the H1N1 vaccine is to check flu.gov. There's a map there and you can click on your state and it will take you right to the state's Web site that tells you where the vaccine are will be available."