Health

AMA proposes establishment of flu vaccine stockpile for small practices

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 2, 2006

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The American Medical Association has suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention establish an early-season inventory of the influenza vaccine that would be distributed to smaller medical practices, according to a statement published on the AMA's Web site last month.

This action comes in response to concerns many physicians, particularly those who use limited amounts of vaccine, might not have received sufficient supplies this season, while organizations that place significantly larger orders did.

The AMA also is moving up the National Influenza Vaccine Summit it organizes with the CDC from May to January to allow ample time to take action for next season. The two organizations are surveying physicians about their experiences this season, and the results are expected to be presented at the summit.

In related action, Sanofi Pasteur, one of the vaccine's manufacturers, announced it has produced more flu shots than expected. More than 58 million doses were shipped by the end of November, the company said. Another 3.5 million will be delivered to the CDC in January for a late-season stockpile. This means the company will deliver 12 million more doses than expected.

Another manufacturer, Chiron Corp., also distributed 11 million doses by the end of November. Another 4 million are expected by the end of December.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/01/02/hlbf0102.htm.

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