CDC and Aventis Pasteur plan to allocate influenza vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Aventis Pasteur announced today the first phase of the plan to allocate influenza vaccine in response to the recently announced loss of half of the nation’s expected flu vaccine supply for the 2004-2005 season.

The plan, announced by CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding and Aventis Pasteur US President Damian Braga, calls for CDC to work closely with Aventis to distribute in phases 22.4 million doses of unshipped vaccine to identified areas of need throughout the country.

Beginning immediately, about 14.2 million doses of vaccine will be allocated over the next 6-8 weeks through Aventis Pasteur contracts directly to high-priority vaccine providers, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and private providers who care for young children.

“This plan will help ensure that vaccine gets to those people who need it most," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "This is a troubling, frustrating situation for all of us and we need for all Americans to pull together in the weeks to come to meet this challenge head on. This plan is the result of unprecedented collaboration between CDC, Aventis Pasteur, and state and local health departments across the country. And we must not forget the other public health heroes on the front lines in grocery stores, pharmacies, and health clinics working to prioritize vaccine. ”

CDC will continue to work with Aventis Pasteur and state and local health departments to identify people, by region, on the vaccination priority list. The approximately 8.2 million doses remaining after the first phase is completed will be shipped to other high-need areas.

“Since Dr. Gerberding contacted us last week, we at Aventis Pasteur have worked with the CDC around the clock to tackle the complex task of getting millions of doses of influenza vaccine to thousands of health care providers around the country. Our goal has been to direct remaining doses as quickly as possible to those areas where large numbers of at-risk individuals are in need," said Damian Braga, president, Aventis Pasteur US. "It is a huge logistical feat and we are proud to have contributed our knowledge and expertise to this plan."

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