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. Not trying to scare you but...

    My girlfriend works at a major hospital in Florida and it is worse than the regular flu and has killed normal people with healthy immune systems (19 year old just passed away there). You need to get Tamiflu ASAP upon presenting with symptoms (fever/cough).. there is potential this will not go away on its own. This was the initial thought but infectious disease specialists are finding that it is much worse than just the regular flu. and that you need Tamiflu... it is 100% susceptible to treatment at this time, hopefully it will stay that way.

    August 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Still not trying to scare you but...

    Thats the thing with new vaccines, its risk vs. reward.. if swine flu is that bad and is killing healthy people, you should get it despite the risks... if not, then I'd pass.. Believe it or not the evil pharmaceutical companies are not putting it out for the sole purpose of making money and ruining your health. Hard to believe for some of you, I know.

    August 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Timothy Gloster

    CNN Editor, who ever you are. How low we have gone. I didn't notice it. Our writen language has become so cors, cours, corse, of course.

    August 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Aaarkay

    The billboard is particularly mean. CNN needs to moderate it to keep foul-mouthed content off it.

    August 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. horay munhaed

    We immunize newborns for sexual transmitted diseases..polio and every thing else under the sun why not the flu? does all this crap put into the body harm kids?? oh yeah AUTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........i can see the board room in all of these drug companies licking there chops. WAKE UP!!!!!

    August 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Leigh

    Sounds like none of you have been hit by this virus. My whole family was hit because someone sent their child to daycamp. Trust me it is a really BAD flu!!! I can't remember the last time we were so sick, out of work for three weeks! Trust me it is not fun having to take care of three sick children when you are also sick. It is not "just like" the "normal" flu! We did not even realize it was H1N1 until it was too late to get any treatment, bacause the daycamp did not let anyone know until several weeks later. So, before all of you "professionals' hand-out advise about the vaccination, I think you need to walk a mile in the shoes of people who have experienced this nasty bug.

    August 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. suzanne

    They didn't post my comment. I guess it was too threatening. I put a web address where you could get informed about the fact that this flu has been determined by virologists to be man made. Look into it yourslef. Don't fall for the scare and bait tactics of the government agencies that are bedfellows of big pharma. Get educated. Don't inject this poison into your healthy children before educating yourself on the alternatives and facts.

    August 16, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Gabriella

    Greg please say your a Republican . . . Swine flu, health care reform, don't worry if the flu doesn't get you the death panels will, eventually.

    Stop living in fear!

    August 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Corporate Fascists have taken over our country

    Ever think this flu could have been manufactored in a lab like AIDS and released on the public to make a profit.Just remember some people will do anything to make more money.

    August 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Buddy Gilmour

    I am glad that mature and intelligent government officials are taking the responsible precautions. Thank you Sebelius and Obama, keep up the good work.

    August 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Joan

    After reading many of your comments, my thought was how great it is that we live in a country where each of you can have and make your own decisions about this or any other topic.

    August 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. No Racism

    Why won't CNN cover the Baxter Intl. incident earlier this year? You know, the one where Baxter sent bird flu vaccine that was infected with live bird flu, to labs in Austia and the Czech Republic? All the test animals died and the story was front page in their respective countries newspapers! Since Baxter is making the swine flu vaccine, there is cause for concern. The cover up makes me think that CNN is still working for Operation Mockingbird!

    August 16, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. cici

    osteoprosis drugs kills swine flu

    August 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Dcamp

    Too many errors in this article (CNN's problem). . . and too little info. I am getting tired of Obama's strategy – PR, PR, PR.

    August 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. cici

    why does swine flu all of a sudden mysteriously appears it hasn't been seen since 1970's like kennedy said the day we elect our first president pigs will fly= barack obama and swine flu

    August 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Justin

    Timothy Gloster, if you are going to zing somebody on a post, you should check your spelling before submitting. Not only is the comment itself childish, it looks as if a child actually posted it. Now let's try spelling propper, I mean, PROPER, again Timmy.

    August 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Becauase I don't want to be sued

    STOP. People do not go to work every day to either shorten or make more miserable your life. Trough be trold we probably could, but we don't. So stop with all this conspiracy nonsence already. Done, over and enough. What happens to you in this small world also happens to us. Get a grip, get a life, please get or purchase a clue.

    August 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Timothy Gloster

    Many thanks for your kind words. "Zinging" someone I was. You I "Wasn't" your input frankly "I miss". Entirely.

    August 16, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. jc

    to whoever said something about walking in the shoes of those who got sick with the swine flu, i just came back from florida with my two children last week end. Midway this week we all fell sick, 100+ fevers, coughs and runny noses, didn't go to the hospital to get my shots, because guess what, it was just a pneumonial virus. But listening to the warning signs of everyone else i should have taken the shot. I'm glad i didn't listen and took care of my family the right way. My wife too works for a hospital, and nurses there don't recommend the shot knowing it wasn't fully tested. And don't talk about a 6months test, what about 10years from now, what will be the affect?

    August 16, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Rich

    So if we have a major healthcare crisis like the financial crisis wouldn't
    that make it easier for the American people to roll over and let the govt.
    take over healthcare like they have the key banks, insurance companies and the last vestige of the non-military industrial complex the car manufacturers. All in the name of a "crisis". Welcome to the
    beginnings of the New World Order.

    August 16, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Eileen Hunter

    I think if school kids get sick from this flu and have to stay home from school, have a plan that allows the Mom or the Dad to be away from work to look after them. Allow the parent to be away from work without the need to take time off and still get paid. If the parents get sick themselves, they should be allowed to be out of the office on sick time, fully paid. After all, this flu is spreading and will get worse this winter. So if people get sick and need to be out from work, etc to prevent further spread in the workplace, why not have a plan in place with the employer. No hassles in allowing days off for this flu-sickness.

    August 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Influenza Politica

    Yes we need to wake up and really look behind the scenes.
    You all need to know the ugly truth and the real reasons for this massive vaccination campaign!
    There is another deadly flu rampant here in Washington. It's the 'malpolitics flu' and every hand in the White House seems to be infected with it! Help!!!!!

    August 16, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. silverfyre

    The only reasonable childcare plan is to stay home with sick children for at least 2 weeks to allow for care and to contain spread of the virus. That means parents need, not should try, but need to be able to have paid time off for sick children as well as to reduce spread in the workplace during their exposure to the virus through caring for the little ones. At some point we will figure out the time away from productivity is well worth the health savings if severe flus run rampant because working adults fear job and income loss if they take time to do what is right for health and safety.

    August 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    There is an old rumor in the backwoods of the South that William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and James Agee all died of an earlier version of the idiot flu.

    August 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. cic that was great!

    Ahh.. that swine flu joke, I've never heard that before, how original! What fun you must be at parties!

    August 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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