CDC: Most Flu Vaccine Manufacturers' Supplies Are Sufficient to Meet Demand
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that the nation's influenza vaccine manufacturers report that more than 103 million doses of influenza (flu) vaccine have been distributed as of November 2--an amount that represents more doses than had ever previously been distributed at this date.
"This is good news. Influenza vaccine appears to be more widely available than ever before, and we want people who should be receiving an annual flu vaccination to be sure that they do," said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of CDC's Immunization Services Division. "Thanks to the increased production of flu vaccine, more people than ever can get protection from a potentially very serious disease. We are hopeful that this year a record number of people will get vaccinated."
CDC officials say they believe that most influenza vaccine providers currently have supplies sufficient for meeting demand. As many as 132 million total doses of vaccine could be produced by the end of the 2007-2008 flu seasons, according to manufacturers. This record amount would be about 12 million more doses than were produced during the 2006-2007 season, in which manufacturers distributed 102.5 million doses to providers.
Santoli noted that some health care providers may not have received their complete order of vaccine yet, as CDC has encouraged vaccine manufacturers and major distributors to use partial vaccine shipments to get doses to as many providers as possible at the earliest opportunity.
The 2007-2008 influenza season is just beginning, and nationwide, influenza activity is currently very low. So far, only two states are reporting local influenza activity. In the United States, influenza activity can begin as early as October and continues through May. Each year, on average, from five to 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with influenza, with influenza estimated to result in 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations from flu-related complications in a typical year.
For more information about influenza and influenza vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.