ATLANTA, GA-In response to notification by influenza vaccine manufacturers of a possible vaccine shipment delay and shortage, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have asked healthcare facilities to consider postponing adult mass influenza vaccination campaigns from October to November. Additionally, facilities are charged with creating solutions to ensure high-risk patients will still be able to receive the vaccine if the shortage should occur. The CDC reports that the total amount of vaccine available for the influenza season is currently uncertain, but both the FDA and CDC are working with manufacturers to determine how much and when the vaccine will be available. The amount of vaccine available is complicated by two factors. First, the yield for this year's influenza vaccine A (H3N2) component appears to be lower than expected, limiting the supply that can be developed in time for flu season. Second, there are other manufacturing issues that the manufacturers are trying to resolve with help from the FDA.
Though confident there will be enough of the vaccine to vaccinate people at highest risk of complications from influenza, such as people over the age of 65, or those who are immunosuppressed, the ACIP and CDC are preparing to provide modified recommendations for the upcoming influenza season detailing the groups of who should receive the vaccine based on supply. The FDA and CDC will issue supply updates throughout the summer as information becomes available.
For more information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.