Officials share flu vaccine concerns during two-day summit
Public health officials have begun brainstorming about the vaccine supply and demand this upcoming flu season. Experts met during a two-day session last week.
Because officials had to turn away people due to the shortage last season, they are concerned that many people might be reluctant to receive flu shots this year. Officials are also uneasy about supply levels. A total of 61 million shots were available this past flu season. Flu shots are recommended for more than 180 million at-risk Americans.
Only one manufacturer, so far – Sanofi Pasteur -- is licensed to provide shots in the United States for the upcoming season. By August, four manufacturers are expected to produce 90 million shots for the U.S. market, said the CDC's Dr. Stephen Cochi. Contamination concerns at Chiron's plant caused a shortage of flu vaccine in the United States last season.
The National Influenza Vaccine Summit, a network of flu vaccine makers, distributors and providers sponsored by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association, sponsored the meeting. The group meets every year to create an agenda for the coming flu season.