According to flu statistician Sherry Towers and Zhilan Feng of Purdue University, computers model show that the number of flu infections may be peaking for the week ending October 25, 2009. Federal health officials, however, have continued to encourage citizens to go out and get vaccinated as soon as the H1N1 vaccine becomes available. The U.S. is expected to have about 50 million does ready by the middle of November with as much as 150 million available by the end of the year. The reason for this delay was due to the fact that the H1N1 virus does not grow as quickly in chicken eggs as does the regular flu. This has lead to less protein being available for inclusion in a vaccine.
This idea of peaking does not mean that we are out of the woods as the CDC wants to be clear ‘that trying to predict what any form of flu will do in the future is most likely an exercise in futility.’ So, they are encouraging everyone to continue getting the regular flu shots and the H1N1 shots as they become available.
CDC researchers have been studying the 1957 Asian flu pandemic in an attempt to get a handle on what the flu might do. In that outbreak, there was an initial wave of cases in September and October just like we are seeing today. Then, in January there was another jump in cases nationwide. So the bottom line is that a vaccine, even if it is late in arrival, might have a positive impact.