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    Monday, October 24, 2005

    In the Dark: The CDC and the HHS are recommending now that everyone get vaccinated against the flu:

    On Monday flu shot recommendations were expanded to include everyone as officials estimated that manufacturers would be able to meet vaccine demand.

    Vaccine makers now expect to produce at least 71 million flu shots for the 2005-2006 season. Chiron is expected to produce less than the 18 million to 26 million doses it had originally projected for this year.

    'There is no reason for anyone to delay or to go without their annual flu shot,' Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt told reporters.

    Still, clinics and doctors offices have reported some delays in receiving promised vaccines from manufacturers, frustrating early efforts by some patients to get vaccinated.

    Leavitt called the reports 'anecdotal' but emphasized them in encouraging patients to be persistent in seeking flu shots. 'We anticipate that the suppliers will be responding to their customers in regular order,' he said.

    Maybe he should have checked with the vaccine manufacturers:

    A spokesman for Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the largest British supplier of flu vaccines, said that all its reserve had now been sent out.

    “We keep some stock in reserve for top-up orders,” he said. “Usually that starts going out from the end of October onwards, but all of it has already been requested and has been delivered or will be delivered shortly. This is quicker than last year. We would expect that the bulk of these top-up orders will be for primary care GPs.”

    Solvay Healthcare, another large supplier, said that it had sold out. A spokesman for the company said: “There has been additional demand from at-risk patients who would not normally come forward for a vaccine.”

    I know that Sanofi-Pasteur has sold out, and so has Chiron, because I tried to buy some from them and had no luck. The companies don't make enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone. They only make enough to fill the pre-orders and a little extra. And those pre-orders were taken months before bird flu hysteria hit.

    posted by Sydney on 10/24/2005 08:42:00 PM 0 comments


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