Friday, January 07, 2005

Excess flu vaccine going wasted.

Remember way back when the shortage was creating a black market?
The flu-shot shortage has turned into a surplus in some areas, raising fears that some vaccine might be wasted.

Aventis Pasteur, supplier of almost all flu-shot vaccine for the USA this year, still has about 3.3 million doses to distribute to U.S. consumers. GlaxoSmithKline is on tap to ship 1.2 million shots from Europe. And MedImmune, maker of a nasal vaccine, has supplies.

But more than a dozen states contacted by USA TODAY say they have enough vaccine to meet demand. That is because many people at high risk for the flu opted to forgo shots this season, believing other people needed them more.... A mild flu season also has eased the demand.

Arizona doctors canceled 10,000 dose orders ... Minnesota has 20,000 to 25,000 doses even after shipping some to Louisiana ... Massachusetts could get 60,000 more doses but won't take them ... Washington is eligible for 160,000 more doses, but it still has 30,000 of its original 160,000... [USA Today]