CMA Calls for Flu Vaccine Distribution System Reform
The California Medical Association on Tuesday called for changes to the flu vaccine distribution process to ensure doctors who treat high-risk patients receive their supplies before larger commercial providers, the Sacramento Bee reports.
CMA CEO Jack Lewin said the association will meet with flu vaccine makers, distributors and public health officials to push for changes in the system.
Robin Flagg, a CMA policy director, said vaccine distribution operates on a market-based economy, resulting in large purchasers such as Kaiser Permanente and Maxim Healthcare getting their orders first, while individual doctors receive lower priority and are put on waiting lists. Flagg said the association is working with Sanofi Pasteur, which does not use distributors, to allow individual doctors treating high-risk patients to purchase small amounts of vaccine before large manufacturers receive their orders.
An unscientific CMA survey conducted online on Nov. 3 found that 75% of California doctors had not received their full vaccine orders (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 11/16).