CDC: Millions of flu vaccine doses arriving each week, teleconference set

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About 16.5 million doses of flu vaccine will be shipped to nursing homes and other high-priority recipients over the next month, federal officials say. The doses will be distributed at about the rate of 2.5 million to 3 million weekly through early December.

That would leave about 2.6 million doses to be distributed in January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, more than 4 million doses of the vaccine were shipped to high-priority providers, bringing the total to more than 9 million.

"The spirit of cooperation we are seeing by (vaccine maker) Aventis Pasteur, state and local health officials, clinicians, hospitals, and the public is extraordinary and is what will help deal with this challenging situation," said CDC Director Julie Gerberding. More than 40 million doses of flu vaccine headed for the United States were ruled contaminated in October, presenting the country with a critical shortage.

The CDC will hold a one-hour teleconference and Webcast to update providers on the flu season and antiviral medications on Nov. 19.