Production delays that are slowing the distribution of the H1N1 flu vaccine could hardly have come at a worse time, with the death toll in young people mounting and antivaccine activists seizing on any chance to make their position heard. Experts point out that the H1N1 version uses the same formula as the seasonal flu vaccine: "One hundred million people get those every year, and we believe there's a very strong safety record for them," says a CDC official.
The original projection that 40 million H1N1 doses would be available by the end of this month was off by about one-quarter. Making the gap more worrisome is the fact that the virus appears to be particularly lethal in children and teenagers. Of the 86 kids under 18 who have succumbed to the virus since the spring, half died in just the past 2 months. "These are very sobering statistics," the CDC official tells the Wall Street Journal.