Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:30 pm Post subject: Swine flu vaccine slow in arriving
only 8 million doses in a week.
Only 8 million doses of vaccine against the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus have become available since last Wednesday, calling into question whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be able to meet even its downsized goal of having 28 million to 30 million doses on hand by the end of this week. As of today, a total of 22.4 million doses of swine flu vaccine are now available, said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, at a news conference this morning. The agency had hoped to be getting 20 million doses per week by now and expected a minimum of at least 50 million doses to be on hand by the end of the month, "We are all frustrated that we don't have more vaccine available now," he said.
The delays are due primarily to the fact that virus for the vaccine is grown in chicken eggs, and the virus selected does not grow as rapidly in the eggs as do those used in the seasonal flu vaccine. Also, manufacturers have had to balance production of swine flu vaccine and seasonal vaccine, and that has contributed to the delays.
Frieden said he hopes much larger quantities will be available in the relatively near future.
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