Archive for Friday, November 11, 2005

CDC: Flu shot deliveries should ease shortages

November 11, 2005

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— Scattered flu shot shortages around the country should be eased by 10 million new doses scheduled to be delivered this month, a top federal health official said Thursday.

Private companies and state and local health care providers buy most flu shot doses, but the federal government is buying more than 900,000 doses this month to shore up supplies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 71 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed so far, despite delivery delays and shortfalls from manufacturers. Some doctors, health departments and companies have had trouble getting vaccine, and some have canceled vaccination clinics.

Fortunately, the flu season is off to a gentle start, said CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding.

"If we continue along this track, we expect there's time for most people to have their vaccine," she said at the CDC's Atlanta headquarters.

Last week, fewer than 2 percent of patients visiting their doctors had flu-like illness, according to the CDC.

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