Health

Ample flu vaccine expected

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 25, 2006

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More than 100 million doses of influenza vaccine are expected for the 2006-07 season, and the bulk of supplies will be distributed before the end of October, according to a Sept. 6 statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"If the manufacturers' estimates hold, more people than ever before will be able to protect themselves and their loved ones from influenza this year," said CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH.

All four flu vaccine manufacturers have started shipping supplies. About 75 million doses are expected to be available before the end of October, and another 25 million are expected before the beginning of January.

Every physician or other administrator of vaccine should receive at least a partial order, but public health officials did express caution. Although an ample supply of vaccine is expected throughout the season, whether an individual physician has supplies is dependent on a number of variables.

"When and how much vaccine each health care provider or clinic receives depends on who they ordered from and when they ordered," said Lance Rodewald, MD, director of the CDC's Immunization Services Division. "There are many manufacturers and distributors, each of which has different distribution plans and schedules. We expect that some health care providers and clinics may get or have more influenza vaccine that others in the first months or so, but people will have plenty of opportunities to be vaccinated during October and November, as well as December or later."

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/09/25/hlbf0925.htm.

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