Flu Vaccine Aplenty

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In past years, flu vaccine has been in short supply.  But that shouldn’t be the case this time around, says Dr. Howard Backer.  He would know.  He’s Chief of the Immunization Branch in the state’s department of public health.  He says nationwide flu shot production has been ramped up.  He says that’s largely because we’ve been preparing for a possible flu pandemic – or a bioterrorist attack:

“We will need that production capacity domestically in case of an influenza pandemic, and we may also need the vaccine capacity should we need to develop any other vaccines rapidly.”

Backer says we’ll benefit from the long-range planning this year during the regular seasonal flu epidemic.  Flu shots are recommended for people over 50, pregnant women, and young children over six months.  Backer says doctors’ offices and clinics should have the vaccine in stock now.