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CDC says more shots are expected to be available in the next few weeks

October 19th, 2006 by


October 18, 2006

The nation’s flu supplies are adequate and 35 million more doses should arrive in the next six weeks, time to vaccinate anyone to avoid getting sick before the season peaks early next year, a top federal immunization official said Thursday.

“We are absolutely not calling this a shortage,” said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of the Immunization Services Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Her comments in a telephone media briefing Wednesday came two days after the American Academy of Pediatrics issued an alert that there would be at least a three-week delay in getting vaccines to children. Many pediatricians have no doses for children, even though they are considered at high risk of getting the flu and spreading flu germs easily, the organization’s leaders said.

Children ideally should be vaccinated by the end of November, but even later should confer protection for children to lessen their chance of contracting the flu, Santoli said.

It takes about two weeks for a child or adult to develop immunity to the flu after getting vaccinated.

By the end of October, 75 million doses, or 115 million flu vaccines to be produced, should have been distributed, Santoli said.

Only one product, FluZone, is approved for children six months to 23 months, she said. There will be about 8-to-9 million pediatric doses of FluZone produced this year for U.S. distribution, Santoli said. She did not know how many pediatric doses of the product have been distributed or will be distributed by the end of the month. She said “almost all providers have some vaccine,” but acknowledged the nation’s system that tracks distribution does not indicate if providers are doctors or large distribution systems.

Santoli said she sees no need to change the nation’s flu vaccine distribution system, to get vaccine first to high-risk groups in their doctors’ office, because they can get flu shots through community programs.

Peak flu season is in January, even February, as it was last year.

Michigan and most states have no flu cases yet. Louisiana and Hawaii reported sporadic cases this month and there have been a few outbreaks on military training bases in the South, Santoli said.

For details on the flu, including a discussion of mercury content in vaccines, go to

Contact PATRICIA ANSTETT at 313-222-5021 or

Filed under: Health Care News |

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