Delays in H1N1 vaccine slow California’s efforts to prevent virus's spread

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Delays in the production of the H1N1 vaccine mean fewer Californians are able to get the shot right now. State health officials hope more doses will arrive this week to protect the most vulnerable people.

State health officials expect that by January, they’ll have enough H1N1 vaccine for all of California’s at-risk groups: school-aged children, people who care for children, people with chronic conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers.

The massive vaccination program the federal government rolled out this month has slowed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week blamed worldwide delays in vaccine production.

Those delays mean California’s public health department has received fewer doses than expected – only 1.7 million so far. That’s not enough to cover the first target group of children and their caregivers.

The CDC is expected to ship more vaccines this week. California’s been getting about 400,000 doses a week.

State health officials expect that number to grow each month. They’ve been promised enough doses to vaccinate 20 million Californians by the end of the year.