Student Health Services Flu Shot Orders Canceled

Posted: October 11, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Student Health Services—like many other clinics, physicians’ offices, and outpatient facilities that have traditionally offered vaccine during the flu season—has received word that its orders for influenza vaccine have been canceled because of inadequate vaccine supplies. The shortage of vaccine is related to a three-month suspension of the pharmaceutical company’s license to manufacture the vaccine, preventing any release for this influenza season. Influenza vaccine, Fluvirin, is manufactured by a company in Liverpool, England.

As of last Friday, Student Health Services was informed by all of its suppliers that orders have been canceled. No promises have been made regarding as to if or when the available supply of influenza vaccine will change.

The loss of flu vaccine manufactured in the UK reduces by approximately one-half the expected supply of trivalent, inactivated vaccine for the 2004-05 influenza season. Approximately 30 million doses of an inactivated flu vaccine have already been distributed and another 24 million doses are expected to be made available this season. Additionally, 1.1 million doses of live, attenuated/weakened influenza vaccine administered as a nasal spray will be available this season. Because of the limited supply of vaccine in any form, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in coordination with its Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, has issued interim recommendations for influenza vaccination.

For additional information about members of priority groups who should be vaccinated with inactivated influenza vaccine this season and for other vaccine recommendations, including those who should consider use of the intranasally administered influenza vaccine, see the CDC web site or call the CDC public response hotline, 888-246-2675 (English), 888-246-2857 (Español), or 866-874-2646 (TTY).

Student Health Services will continue to seek sources of both inactivated influenza vaccine and intranasally administered vaccine, and information will be released as it becomes available alerting students, faculty, and staff about any supply that it is able to obtain. In the meantime, Student Health Services recommends that those in a priority group to be immunized contact their physician’s office and look for local sources such as drug stores, grocery stores, discount stores, and churches within neighborhoods and the community that might be offering the flu vaccine. The news media is also a source for updates as the flu season progresses.

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