CDC promises more flu vaccine soon

Nov. 11, 2005 at 11:51 PM

ATLANTA, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Federal health officials say flu vaccine is on its way to the United States, later than expected, but in time for the flu season.

Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control, blamed the shortfall on production problems at the vaccine's maker, the British pharmaceutical company Chiron, the Chicago Tribune reported. She said another 10 million doses should be shipped in the next month.

"We're sorry we have another frustrating year for some people," Gerberding said.

The newspaper said some experts believe demand is up sharply this year. Recent publicity about avian influenza's spread through Asia to Europe and the possibility of a deadly global pandemic if the virus mutates has raised public consciousness and fears about flu.

Gerberding said 71 million doses of vaccine have already been distributed.

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