Flu Vaccine Shortage at CVS and Walgreens

This is not good CVS and Walgreen say they are experiencing  spotty shortages due to growing demand. Two of the nations largest pharmacy chain stores in the US report the shortfall.

CVS Minute Clinic in New York City and Austin,TX  say ran of the stockpiles of the seasonal flu vaccine briefly before replenishing. Calls to Walgreens in the New York area has shortages. Report of Shortfalls in the South and Southeast said James Cohn spokesman for Walgreens.

The increasing need for seasonal flu vaccine came in September due to growing public awareness of H1N1, said Cohn. Walgreen issued twice as many September 2008. CVS has vaccinated “significantly higher number of people” than last year, said Michael DeAngelis, a spokesman.

“We are experiencing very high demand for seasonal-flu shots and we are working closely with multiple suppliers to meet this demand on a day-to-day basis,” DeAngelis said in an e-mail yesterday. “When we experience isolated shortages of vaccine supply, we do all we can to replenish these locations.”

Rite Aid reported no shortages in its system.  There have been at doctor offices and health clinics Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Vermont, according to the Web sites of local newspapers including the Addison County Independent in Vermont, the Grand Forks Herald of North Dakota and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi-Adventis, SA in Paris,France has reported delays in manufacturing and distributing. Sanofi-Adventis say they are a few weeks behind and passed out 30 million of 50.5 million doses.

Five manufacturers of the vaccine UK based Astra-Zeneca,PLC GlaxoSmithKline; Switzerland based  Novartis AG, CSL ,LLC of Australia as well as Sonfi-Adventis shipped  114 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine and 251 million H1N1  vaccine doses.

The CDC points out there more people on who want the vaccine.

“The good news is that we have more seasonal-flu vaccine out than we typically would this time of year,” Anne Schuchat, head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, said on a conference call yesterday. “The bad news is that more people want it than can seem to be able to get it.”

Bloomberg

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