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Looking for a Flu Vaccine? Well, Keep Looking.

Published October 6, 2004 in IMMUNIZE
By Ryan Parsons | None

Start your day with a nice dose of illness. Hey, this could save your life.
For those of you preparing for the upcoming flu season, you may be out of luck on getting your hands on the present Flu Vaccine Ala Season.

Major Flu Vaccine Supplier Temporarily Shut Down


Chiron Corp., the company that brings the US a giant portion of its Flu Vaccines, has been shut down pending another check from regulations ensuring that their plant in Liverpool is sterile [an earlier visit from proper authorities showed problems with sterilization]. The United States had planned on receiving up to ~50 million doses from the halted company and, with this loss, are struggling to find alternate approaches of handling the demand of vaccines during the flu season [the US is trying to fill a quota of ~100 million doses]. A season that kills between thirty and forty thousand each year in the US [mostly infants and the elderly].

Two Troubling Ideas


One of the first solutions [besides requesting more production from other vaccine producers] was to find a way to 'water down' our existing inventory of the Flu vaccine. The first problem with this is that 'watering down' cannot be good and that every year we receive new Flu vaccine that has been created to battle Influenza viruses that are expected to hit that upcoming year. Giving yourself last year's Flu virus may not exactly protect you from a different, or mutated, strand.

Even though both the United States and the pharmaceuticals fear a rush on the Flu vaccine market, they assure us that they are currently working on finding ways to fill the giant void created by the halt of Chiron Corp. We will have to wait and see what ideas our government has in store.
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Ryan Parsons
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