Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
Posted: 10/5/2004 11:05:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 11:05:33 AM EST by Da_Bunny]
Welcome To the Global Economy



U.S. Flu Vaccine Supply Cut in Half

Yahoo! News - 57 minutes ago Health - AP

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON - Americans' supply of flu vaccine was cut in half Tuesday as Britain abruptly shut down a major supplier just as flu season is about to begin. Facing a record shortage, U.S. health officials scrambled to reserve remaining shots for the elderly and others at highest risk from influenza.

Healthy adults will be asked to delay or skip getting flu shots this year so doctors can give priority to more vulnerable patients, Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic said after an emergency meeting of the government's vaccine advisers, who unanimously endorsed the voluntary rationing.

"We will need the help of the public, the public health community and the medical community to make sure that the vaccine goes to those who truly need it most," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services (news - web sites).

The people most in need of flu vaccine are babies and toddlers ages 6-23 months; the elderly; anyone with chronic conditions such as heart or lung disease; and pregnant women.

Other countries likely will face shortages, too, said Dr. Klaus Stohr, the World Health Organization (news - web sites)'s influenza chief.

British regulators suspended the license of Chiron Corp., the world's second-leading flu vaccine supplier, for three months. They cited manufacturing problems at the factory in Liverpool, England, where Chiron makes its leading Fluvirin flu vaccine.

The sanction means more than a delay, Chiron officials said: They will ship no Fluvirin anywhere this year, including the 46 million to 48 million doses originally planned for the United States.

"This season is gone," said Chiron chief executive Howard Pien.

The rest of the nation's supply, roughly 54 million flu shots, is coming from Aventis Pasteur, the world's leading supplier.

Aventis already had said it didn't expect to be able to produce more until at least November, when existing orders are filled. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) has now asked Aventis to try to redistribute its shipments so high-risk patients get their shots first, CDC chief Julie Gerberding said.

"We'll be working on this fast and furiously," she told lawmakers before racing out of a House hearing to deal with Tuesday's surprise announcement.

High-risk patients depend on flu shots because the injections are made of killed influenza virus. For other people, there is another option: About 1 million doses of an inhaled flu vaccine, MedImmune Inc.'s FluMist, will be available for healthy 5- to 49-year-olds. It's made from live but weakened influenza virus.

Also under consideration: Whether Aventis' vaccine could be diluted to get two doses out of each original shot. Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief for the National Institutes of Health (news - web sites), said a small study a few years ago suggested doing so would provide enough protection.

But more research on this year's flu vaccine would be needed. Dr. William Egan of the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) said it was too early to know if the agency would allow such a move.

Chiron's shipments already had been delayed by a contamination problem discovered in August. The company has insisted only 4 million doses were tainted, although it refuses to identify the contaminant.

Less than two weeks ago, top U.S. health officials assured the public that close FDA monitoring of the rest of the supply showed it was fine and there would be no shortage.

British officials didn't explain why they disagreed.

Flu shot campaigns usually start in October, a month before the flu season typically begins in the United States. In an average year, flu kills 36,000 people and hospitalizes another 114,000, mostly the elderly.

Trading in Chiron's stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market was temporarily halted Tuesday morning. Share price dropped $7.69 a share, or 17 percent, to $37.73 after trading resumed.


Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:17:47 AM EST
Wonder how much a Flu shot will be this year.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:20:49 AM EST
who cares? Like Lewis Black says, "You get a flu shot and you won't get the flu, but you'll get a cold that lasts 9 months. But hey, at least you didn't get the flu, right?"

They say this every year to get all the geezers and soccer moms stirred up. It's coming early this year because the election will be too big a distraction later on.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:22:54 AM EST
Uh, jeez, it's flu season again. Has'nt this same story run the last three years now?

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:25:29 AM EST
Screw the Flu shot.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:33:54 AM EST
Someone explain to me why our stocks of vaccine are not made in the US.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:35:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By mattja:

Someone explain to me why our stocks of vaccine are not made in the US.





Duh! Been to Walmart lately? Outsourcing!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:35:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 11:36:15 AM EST by warlord]

Originally Posted By mattja:
Someone explain to me why our stocks of vaccine are not made in the US.


During the Clinton administration, Bill & Hillary Clinton wanted to get the profits out of vaccines.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:36:10 AM EST
The drug companies are in tight with the fedgov, that's all I'm going to say. Fear of scarcity and fear of disease sell!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:38:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By mattja:

Someone explain to me why our stocks of vaccine are not made in the US.





Duh! Been to Walmart lately? Outsourcing!



Sad, it wasn't that long ago that Wal-Mart's big advertising campaign was "Made in the U.S.A."

Now you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in there that is made here.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:39:11 AM EST
The worst day for me was when I bought an American flag that was made in China.

Very depressing.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:39:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:

During the Clinton administration, Bill & Hillary Clinton wanted to get the profits out of vaccines.




Yes, I remember that now.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:43:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 11:44:31 AM EST by warlord]

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By mattja:

Someone explain to me why our stocks of vaccine are not made in the US.





Duh! Been to Walmart lately? Outsourcing!



Sad, it wasn't that long ago that Wal-Mart's big advertising campaign was "Made in the U.S.A."

Now you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in there that is made here.


Wall-Mart was stung pretty badly by that debacle, I see that all of the USA flags they are selling are tagge with "hencho en USA."
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:59:25 AM EST
Buy medi
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:38:23 PM EST
I can’t believe that after the problems last year, this is happening again!!

I got mine last Friday at the local grocery store and was pretty miffed at the time. The nurse (if she was one!) was ready to go home. So when she got to me she stuck the needle in my arm and pushed on the hypodermic plunger like a contestant on a game show hits the buzzer. I very nearly did a cartwheel!!

My arm still hurts!!

Guess I’m lucky I even got one.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:48:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Screw the Flu shot.



+1

If people would not come to work
sick or send their kids to school sick
we wouldn't have to worry about the
obligatory yearly flu "pandemic"...


Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:55:50 PM EST
I have never gotten a flu shot...
I have never gotten the flu...
I shun sick people like the plauge they are...
even friends...

"(cough cough sniffle) Hey mab, wadda hag out?" sick friend

"Stay away from me!!! Go! GET AWAY!!!" me from 20 feet away and backing up.

flu shots MAKE people sick. I've seen it.
Top Top