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    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Season of Plenty? Despite claims by the CDC that there will be plenty of flu vaccine this year, doctors everywhere are wondering - where's the vaccine? They're wondering in North Carolina:

    Despite assurances from federal and state health officials that flu vaccine is coming, N.C. family physicians complained Thursday that vaccine manufacturers are favoring large retailers over doctors' offices.

    A survey by the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians found that 85 percent of 240 doctors responding had not yet received vaccine they ordered last spring.

    Dr. Christopher Snyder III said none of the seven offices in his group, Cabarrus Family Medicine, has received vaccine for their 70,000 patients.

    And he doesn't expect any: "I'll believe it when I see it."

    He said doctors are frustrated and angry about having to refer patients to flu shot clinics at grocery stores and pharmacies.

    And they're wondering in Boston:

    There have been no such assurances at a Brookline clinic affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess. An expected shipment never arrived -- only an e-mail from the supplier that made no promise about how much vaccine would arrive or when. In turn, the clinic sent an e-mail to patients notifying them that three scheduled periods for getting a shot had been canceled.

    ''The patients are asking why don't we have it if Stop & Shop is saying they have vaccine available,' said Maryann Noonan, referral coordinator at the Brookline clinic.

    To some extent, the delays in vaccine shipment are intentional. The largest maker of shots, Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement that its system of staggered delivery was designed in conjunction with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That system, the company said, is designed to assure that the initial lots of vaccine are directed to high-risk patients.

    Dr. Donald Green, who has a family practice in Reading, said his supplier told him he may not get any vaccine. Green said he knows colleagues who have heard the same thing."

    Sorry, but if the reason behind the delays and unfilled orders is that the vaccine is being delivered to high risk people first, then the companies that supply drug stores,supermarkets, and corporations with flu shot should have been the last to receive their shipments.

    posted by Sydney on 10/31/2005 06:47:00 AM 0 comments


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