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Editorial: Vanishing vaccine

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anyone keeping up with the latest news about flu vaccines might be somewhat bewildered.

Near the end of September, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center had to cancel some clinics for the seasonal flu vaccine because its supplier said it was unable to fill requests for about half the vaccine that had been ordered. On the last day of September, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Southeast Missourian there was no overall shortage. Two days later, the Associated Press reported widespread delays in deliveries.

Why so much confusing information?

The biggest reason is that there are two major flu concerns this year: the seasonal flu, and the H1N1 (swine) flu. Vaccine producers hurried to get the seasonal flu vaccine out earlier than normal so they could concentration on production of the H1N1 vaccine. But logistics appear to have thwarted those plans, resulting in snafus for both kinds of vaccine.

And demand for flu immunizations has been high this year. More people seem to want as much protection as they can get.

Some seasonal flu vaccine is still available. The Jackson School District is offering clinics next week. It's still a good idea to be protected as winter approaches.

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"The best time to get vaccinated against influenza is from October through November. Avoid getting a flu shot too early, because protection can begin to decline within a few months after getting the shot. You can still benefit from getting a flu shot after November though, even if there's an influenza outbreak in your community. It takes about two weeks to develop protective immunity after the shot."

All these folks who were hurried into getting flu shots in September will likely be exposed to late season infections in February and March. And we want the government to be responsible for our health care. I think not.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 5:45 AM

I know a pharma rep who is a friend of mine and this person told me that the company she represents had over 66,000 doses available but the Cape County Director wouldn't order any from her. So much for the lame excuses for running out.

It's pure BS.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 8:18 AM


Not understaning your point. The vaccines are produced by private companies.


And how much were those doses? There could be any number of reasons for not purchasing them.

-- Posted by lumbrgfktr on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 11:09 AM

In the 'bewilder' thousands of families were 'encouraged' to take flu shots earlier than they might have, possibly leaving them exposed later in the season. What happens in March and April? Just curious.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 12:07 PM

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