Dollars and Jens
Sunday, December 07, 2003
Two makers of flu shot say they've sold all vaccine
UPDATE - Two makers of flu shot say they've sold all vaccine

Two big flu vaccine makers said on Friday their entire production had been sold to hospitals and other providers as Americans rushed to get shots in an outbreak that has killed a number of children.

The developments do not mean that flu shots are no longer available in the medical supply chain, but they offer further evidence of an unusually early and severe onset of the illness.

Most supplies of the vaccine have been distributed to doctors, health departments and other providers, which is not uncommon at this time of the year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Still drug maker Aventis SA said most of its production was already spoken for and shipped before the flu season began and said recent outbreaks "caused an unprecedented surge of vaccine orders ... which accounted for the balance of our inventory."
The other company mentioned in the headline is Chiron, whose spokesman comments, "it's always a balance to ensure you produce enough but don't overproduce." Last year, ten million doses were wasted.

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