St. Louis Public Radio News
7:26 am
Wed October 7, 2009

HHS secretary visits St. Louis

St. Louis – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in St. Louis Tuesday to meet with researchers at St. Louis University who worked on a vaccine against the H1N1 virus.

Sebelius says millions of Americans have already developed symptoms of H1N1, but that on balance, the sickness is proving to be no more deadly then regular seasonal flu.

"Presentation like the seasonal flu is good," she said. "But the bad news is, seasonal flu kills people year-in and year-out. And we know that children and young Americans have no immunity to this strain because its never been seen before."

The nasal mist form of the vaccine has already arrived in some areas of Missouri, including St. Louis Injectable doses are expected to begin arriving in the area over the next several days. First priority will be given to children, pregnant mothers and those who are at high risk.

The vaccine likely won't be available to the general public until sometime in late November.