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Despite delays in delivery of influenza vaccine, all providers should receive some early vaccine for high-risk patients and the health care workers who treat them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta reported. Manufacturers are reporting that 49.8 million doses will be available for delivery by the end of October, with an additional 27.3 million doses in November and December, according to the CDC. The total of 77.1 million doses is slightly higher than the supply available last year. "Predictions of monthly vaccine distribution vary by manufacturer, and providers will probably receive vaccine on different schedules," the agency stated.
To help manage the delay, the CDC has asked manufacturers to provide some early vaccine to all providers who placed orders. "This strategy will ensure that virtually all providers will be able to vaccinate some of their high-risk patients early in the season," the CDC stated. "As an exception, complete orders for chronic care facilities serving high-risk populations should be provided early so that vaccine can be administered in October or November, the optimal time for vaccination of this highest risk group."
(Editor’s note: Information on influenza vaccine supply is available at www.cdc.gov/nip/flu.)