August 16th, 2009
11:14 AM ET
6 years ago

Sebelius on swine flu: 'We're preparing for the worst'

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that high priority populations will likely have completed the full regimen of swine flu vaccination by Thanksgiving.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that high priority populations will likely have completed the full regimen of swine flu vaccination by Thanksgiving.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that it would likely be Thanksgiving before the most vulnerable, high priority populations are completely vaccinated against the H1N1 or swine flu virus. In the meantime, Sebelius said parents and schools need to make back-up plans to deal with possible illness.

“We’re playing out a whole variety of scenarios,” Sebelius said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”

Sebelius told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the administration was “optimistic” it would have a vaccine available by around mid-October.

“But the regimen will take about five weeks,” Sebelius said, “A first shot, three weeks delay, second shot, and then about two weeks for full immunity. So we’re really need to work between now and Thanksgiving with lots of social mitigation – keeping kids home from school if they’re sick. I would urge every family have a back-up child care plan.”

“If a parent gets sick, was is the plan?,” Sebelius also said Sunday, “because we know the disease spreads quickly and we will not have fully immunized even priority populations until about Thanksgiving.”

“We’re looking at schools as great partners for possible vaccine programs beginning in the fall to get kids immunized as quickly as possible because this is a children’s flu,” the Obama aide also said.

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Welcome to Rome

    How about the "idiot flu" that is now devastating the backwoods and South?

    August 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Kathryn Breighner

    The back-up child care plan should not be to put sick kids who have been kept home from school into a group child care setting where it will continue to spread.

    August 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Arielle

    to whomever wrote that HATEFUL comment made about the backwoods and the South: shame on you. it's people like you that perpetuate the stereotypes about rural and southern populations.

    seems to me you might just be "patient zero" when it comes to idiot flu.

    get a life.

    August 16, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Wow

    That was uncalled for.

    August 16, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. hjs3

    The "idiot flu" or southern strategy is apparently resistant to any kind of vaccination..or self help regimen. Sad but true.....

    August 16, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Dave

    Hey, "Welcome to Rome", care to elaborate???

    August 16, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Info first!

    Be informed before getting this vaccine. There is already an alert sent out by the feds to be aware of an increase in Guillain Barre Syndrome, which causes paralysis and death.

    August 16, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. bixby

    Ididot flu isn't just relegated to the south you moron...It's everywhere.
    I have to say that THIS flu isnt a joking matter, at least not in this household, where there are members with severe and chronic conditions that make them much more vulnerable.
    You notice how the stupid don't get chronic illnesses....? Know why? They are not smart enough to figure out things and help themselves....even if they did get a serious – chronic illness, they'd not be smart enough to combat it properly.

    August 16, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. david walen

    Are the exact ingredients public information? Or do we have to wait till the mercury settles before that.?

    August 16, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Alan Shore

    Whoever titled this piece "Obama aide etc." doesn't understand how government works. She's a cabinet secretary, not an aide. Hire professional people please.

    August 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Dave

    Being that my first post was blocked because it had a web address in it... (I guess), let me re-post with out it...

    Yea, but what about people that are already dying from the shot due to it causing a brain nerve disease?

    Do a web search for swine flu nerve disease...

    August 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Southerners really are dumb

    The accent doesn't help either.

    August 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. david walen

    'im a smart sutherner, that think s idiots up north are very similar to idiots down south, they need information before they go and submit to untested vax;)

    August 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Lala

    You misspelled idiot lmao. anyway, back-up plans should be in place at the schools also so the kids that POSSIBLY have the H1N1 Virus are kept away from those that require medication at the school everyday (such as diabetics), so as to not spread the virus.
    I get so sick of parents that are so hell bent on kids not missing a day of school even when the kids are sick, that they send them anyway and put others at risk. If someone is sick..KEEP THEM HOME! I too have a household where there are chronic medical issues and a flu outbreak may just cost a child her life.
    I am keeping her home until the outbreak at the school is over. I'm not leaving her health/life in the hands of others. I AM TAKING CONTROL OF IT MYSELF.

    August 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Jon

    This flu is no worse than regular flu. Be aware people, there is no need for a vaccination to this flu. All that is required is rest and plenty of fluids just like a regular flu. This is nothing but propaganda and scare tactics by this administration. Please wake up people and realize not everything our government tells us to do is good. I will attest that if the WHO makes this mandatory and starts coming house to house to force vaccinations they will be met with force.

    August 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Dave

    Obama is doing such a good job of getting around the separation of the three branch’s of Gov’t with all his “Czars”, I’m surprised he doesn’t have a Swine Flu Czar too!

    August 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Greg

    How dare you ask what the ingredients are. The Obama Administration knows what's good for you, you have no right to question his benevolent leadership!

    August 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Boseph Heyden

    Someone said this flu isn't a joking matter? Yeah, it kinda is. Regardless of where it hits, if you can survive the regular flu you can survive this. The same kinds of medicines work on this and it isn't like it'll stick with you forever. This isn't the 1970's anymore, we should be smarter than this (though, obviously, we seem to be getting dumber with access to more information, so yeah...).

    August 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Timothy Gloster

    Kathleen Sebelius is not an "Obama aide" as your article implies or perhaps switched principles without propper credit. Your entire network was once stellar, now frankly and without apology, you suck.

    August 16, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. CNN Editor

    Is the CNN webpage editor asleep at the wheel? First mistake "so were really need to work" second mistake "if a parent gets sick, was is the mistake?"

    August 16, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Wake Up America

    It has been said there are inherent DANGERS in taking the Swine Flu Shot. Alex Jones, world-wide commentator from Austin, Tx. speaks about it on his program on KLBJ-AM regularly on Sundays from 4-6 PM CST. To learn about the dangers of this vaccine, visit The public needs to be fully informed about all possible scenarios not just start biting on the lines the health people in Washington want to feed you. If a vaccine causes more PROBLEMS than it will cure, is it truly worth it?

    August 16, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Kathleen

    No one in their right mind would accept a vaccine that is new to market. As it was/is with Gardasil, this is nothing more than an untested, unproven vehicle to further increase the profits of the pharmaceutical companies.

    August 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Mayan Calender may just be right

    Your right,2012 cant come soon enough,at least the greedy rich and the stupid rednecks that will kill this bill cant take it with them or have a better place to hide than I do.lmao

    August 16, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Edward lawler

    Guillian Barre Syndrome also known as French Polio does indeed in most casees cause temporary paralysis and in most cases,so my doctor has told me, is totally curable, with an extensive rehab-recovery period. That said caution and knowledge should be involved in getting this shot. Is the idiot backwoods flu coparable to the inner city moron plague????

    August 16, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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