The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Aventis have agreed on a plan to distribute the remaining supply of flu shots. Aventis is supplying 55.4 million doses this year. The goal is to target the vaccine on hand to individuals who will benefit the most, and to "do it in a way that's fair and equitable to the greatest number of people across the country," said Julie Gerberding, MD, director of the disease centers, as reported in the New York Times, October 13, 2004.
All but 22.4 million of Aventis' supply has been distributed. Both the centers and Aventis have agreed on where to send 14 million of those doses. The distribution of the remaining supply would be determined later on based on need, according to Dr. Gerberding. Top on the list for the 14 million doses will be places that take care of the elderly and young children, as well as the military.
The shortfall of the vaccine is the result of the British government suspending the manufacturing license at the Chiron Corp factory in Liverpool. Chiron had intended to supply 46 million to 48 million doses of the vaccine this year.