Europe reports no shortage of flu vaccine

Oct. 21, 2004 at 11:10 AM
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PARIS, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Health officials say Europe appears to have sufficient flu vaccine for all countries, despite the shutdown of the world's second largest vaccine maker.

"The World Health Organization has not heard of any shortages in Europe, and it's very likely we would have heard if there were problems," Dr. Nedret Emiroglu, of the WHO Regional Office for Europe told the International Herald Tribune.

In England, the National Health Service bought 14 million doses of flu vaccine it needed from five or six suppliers, said Alison Langley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health. Two million of those doses were to have come from the now-idle Chiron factory in Liverpool, but Langley said the shortfall was made up with purchases elsewhere.

Slovenia purchased its 180,000 doses of vaccine from Aventis Pasteur, based in Lyon, France, as well as from Chiron. It had already taken delivery of its full supply before the Chiron facility was ordered closed by Britain Oct. 8 when contamination was discovered.

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