Campus Flu Vaccines Unavailable Due to Worldwide Shortage


Student Health Services is currently unable to provide flu vaccines to the campus community in preparation of this year's influenza season.

Health clinics across the nation have had vaccine supplies slashed following news that British regulators shut down a major flu vaccine supplier.

Student Health Services was notified on Oct. 5 by its supplier of influenza vaccine that it would be unable to deliver the 800 doses of vaccine that had been ordered. The supplier company had purchased the influenza vaccine from Chiron Corp. in the United Kingdom, whose license to manufacture the vaccine has been suspended for three months, preventing any release of the vaccine for this influenza season.

The shut down will reduce by approximately one half the expected supply of the flu shot available in the United States for the 2004-05 flu season.

The remaining supply of vaccine that is expected to be available in the United States this season is manufactured by Aventis Pasteur, and, on Oct. 5, Student Health Services was added to its waiting list. Student Health Services will notify the campus community via PolyCentric if/when it is able to obtain any vaccine from Aventis or another source.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), in coordination with its Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP), has issued interim recommendations for influenza vaccination.

Priority groups for vaccination with inactivated influenza vaccine this season are:

  • All children aged 6-23 months
  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • Persons aged 2-64 with underlying chronic medical conditions
  • All women who will be pregnant during influenza season
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • Children 6 months to 18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy
  • Healthcare workers with direct patient care
  • Out-of-home caregivers and thosein direct contact with children younger than 6 months of age

Student Health Services recommends those who fall in any priority category contact their primary care providers for vaccination.

“Although Student Health Services is unable to provide flu vaccines, there are some precautions that faculty, staff and students can take to avoid contracting the flu, such as washing their hands with soap frequently,” says Kay Vierra, interim director of Student Health Services. “Viruses can live on anything our hands touch  doorknobs, telephones, money, computer keyboards. To help avoid infecting classmates or co-workers, stay home if you are ill and running a fever.”

For more information on how avoid colds and flu this season, visit www.shs.cpp.edu/outreach/Flu_Beat_The_Bug.shtml.