CDC’s Gerberding  addresses pediatricians, and flu vaccine

October 10, 2006

Julie Gerberding, MD, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported on progress in the availability of influenza vaccine during a plenary session presentation this morning at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2006 National Convention and Exhibition.

October 10-Atlanta-Julie Gerberding, MD, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported on progress in the availability of influenza vaccine during a plenary session presentation this morning at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2006 National Convention and Exhibition.

“Influenza immunization is a good news, bad news story,” Dr. Gerberding said. “As you know, we have more vaccine than we’ve ever had before.” Approximately 26 million units were distributed in September, and another 75 million will be out by the end of October. This number is 15 million more than what was available by the end of October last year, she added.

“The manufacturers and distributors have said that they will try to fill partial orders so that providers can get vaccine, but we all know that this is easier said than done, and we still have providers who do not have vaccine, when a large shopping chain does,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of ability to change that at CDC; we are hoping, and we believe, based on what we are seeing on a national basis, that it’s better this year than it was last year.” Dr. Gerberding was apologetic that the CDC was unable to take more extensive action, and assured pediatricians that the agency will continue its efforts to insert itself into the distribution process.

Dr. Gerberding concluded by discussing vaccinations for 3-year-olds. “While we expect to have ample opportunity to immunize children, we hope we can put a bit of fire under the immunization of 3-year-olds, because they are ones with a gap” in terms of the availability of vaccine approved for use in children that age.