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    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Flu Vaccine Update: It's still not clear why the British suspended the license of Chiron, the influenza vaccine producer. Even the CDC isn't sure:

    We will need the help of the public, the public health community and the medical community to make sure that the vaccine goes to those who truly need it most.

    We are in the process of learning more detailed information about why the UK regulatory authority suspended Chiron's license for three months and whether anything can be done to address the issues involved. The Department of Health and Human Services, including its Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institutes of Health, are working with their counterparts in the British government as well as Chiron regarding this matter.

    The Department also has begun exploring whether more flu vaccine can be manufactured for this flu season. This includes working with Aventis on its ability to provide more vaccine. At this point, however, it is not known whether it's possible to get more vaccine.

    Chiron was taken by surprise, too. When their actions have such far-reaching consequences for public health, don't these regulatory bodies have an obligation to make public the reasons behind those actions? Our own regulatory bodies had no problem with the vaccine's production. Our vaccine supply is being held hostage to a British regulatory body. Maybe it's not such a good idea to outsource our public health this way.

    Anyways, as a public service announcement, here is a list of who really needs the vaccine:

    *all children aged 6–23 months;
    * adults aged 65 years and older;
    * persons aged 2–64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions;
    * all women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
    * residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
    * children aged 6 months–18 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
    * health-care workers involved in direct patient care; and
    * out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged <6 months.

    If you're healthy, please refrain. You might miss a few days of work if you get the flu, but for the people in the above groups, the flu could be deadly.


    posted by Sydney on 10/06/2004 08:36:00 AM 1 comments


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