Flu vaccine supplies delayed this year

September 10, 2019 - 6:37 am

Doctors across the country are preparing for delays for this season's flu vaccine.

Formulation changes led at least one major manufacturer to ship its supply later than planned. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports Sanofi Pasteur, the largest company that exclusively produces vaccines, delayed delivery of the influenza vaccine.

"Probably a couple of months ago we had word from the manufacturer to that affect, that there could be a little bit of a delay in distributing the supplies this year," said Nancy Tausz, with the Johnson County Health Department.

Findings from a recent CDC-authored #CID study emphasize the importance of improvements in #fluvax effectiveness AND increases in vax coverage. Small improvements result in large benefits. Learn more: https://t.co/5twBNgZ2rL pic.twitter.com/cZHneWCBIm

— CDC Flu (@CDCFlu) September 9, 2019
The delay of three to four weeks affects three types of vaccines. They make up approximately 40 percent of the U.S. flu vaccine market, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We're getting the supply in small batches, so we're adjusting according to when we can actually start distributing to the public," Tausz said.

There are multiple formulations of flu vaccine for different types of patients, including a high-dose shot for seniors. People are advised to talk with their doctors to determine which vaccine is best for them.

The production of the yearly flu vaccine is an ever-evolving task. Influenza viruses mutate rapidly, and each of the three or four strains delivered in the vaccine requires careful evaluation. The one-month delay was passed on to vaccine manufacturers looking to immunize against the strain.

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