At Least 100M Doses of Flu Vaccine To Be Available
CDC announced Tuesday that at least 100 million doses of flu vaccine are expected to be available this fall to anyone, not just those in the high-risk populations, who typically are given priority, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen said that four companies are on track to deliver 100 million doses of flu vaccine, the highest number ever available. "This year we don't expect distribution issues, and therefore there will be no tier system in which those at highest risk got it first," Allen said.
The vaccine will be available on a first-come, first-served basis before the flu season begins in October.
Sanofi Pasteur spokesperson Patty Tomsky said the company already has begun shipping 50 million doses after resolving what the FDA called "objectionable conditions" at the company's Swiftwater, Pa., plant. Earlier this year, CDC said it was "concerned" that problems at Sanofi Pasteur would slow production of this year's flu vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis also have promised millions of doses of the vaccine, and MedImmune expects to deliver three million doses of the inhaled flu vaccine.
Allen said government purchases will account for only 10% to 15% of the expected vaccine supply, with the rest purchased by hospitals, physicians, health departments and clinics (Hendrick, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/6).