Flu Vaccine Delivery Underway. Part 4

In the meantime, the CDC said, vaccination of people at high risk for flu complications “should proceed routinely during regular healthcare visits” to doctors, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and other places where vaccinations are normally given.

Healthy people younger than 65 are still being urged to wait to get flu shots until later this month or during December. Vaccines administered then “can still provide substantial protective benefits,” the CDC said.

In a notice posted on its Web site, the CDC also called attention to four prescription drugs it says are useful for controlling outbreaks “in specific and circumscribed situations,” but which were not substitutes for the influenza vaccine. But it says two of them, amantadine and rimantadine, were not recommended for widespread use in healthy people because they can cause harm to the central nervous system (the brain). The other two, zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu), have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of types A and B influenza, but have not been approved for flu prevention. In addition, Relenza might be risky for people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The delay in production of this year’s flu vaccine was caused by two problems. One of the three strains of influenza against which it is designed to provide protection turned out to be unusually hard to culture. In addition, two of the U.S. firms that manufacture the vaccine were unable to start production because the Food and Drug Administration had charged them with violation of its manufacturing standards.

One of the two, Parkedale, is not planning to produce any vaccine this year. That left Aventis Pasteur Inc. and Wyeth Ayerst, once the company complied with the FDA’s requirements, the only American suppliers. A British company, General Injectables and Vaccine Inc., now is taking up some of the slack with shipments to the U.S. market.

Every person need learn main first aid techniques. it is difficult to know when you may need them – you might be at work, at home, at school, on holiday.

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