Public health officials apologize for flu vaccine distribution delays

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 14, 2005

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Influenza vaccine supplies are expected to be adequate this season, but public health officials are sorry that some physicians are having problems receiving their supplies in a timely manner.

"We are sorry for the problems that are going on in doctors' offices. It's frustrating. We're asking people to be patient," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, during a telephone conference in late October to discuss supply issues.

At least 70 million doses are expected before the end of the vaccination season, but distribution has been spotty because Chiron Corp., one of the three manufacturers, did not receive regulatory approval for the first of its lots until mid-October. As of press time, it was still unknown how many doses the company would produce, although it is expected to be fewer than the 18 million originally projected. Officials expect any shortages caused by uneven distribution to be resolved as the season progresses.

"Many doctors will be receiving vaccine shortly," said Dr. Gerberding. "Millions of more doses of vaccine are on the way."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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