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Saturday, October 5, 2013

US data show higher flu vaccine uptake in health workers

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) final flu vaccine coverage estimates for the 2012-13 season, released today, showed a healthy bump in children and a small gain in adults.
The CDC also found improved flu vaccine coverage in healthcare workers, one of the groups the agency has targeted with more intensive efforts to raise immunization levels.

Federal officials unveiled the findings today at a press conference sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The event was part of a broader effort to rally health groups and the public behind this season's flu vaccination efforts.

Vaccine makers expect to produce about 135 million doses for the US market, and so far 73 million doses have been distributed, according to the latest estimate from the CDC. Two new types of vaccine will debut this flu season, a quadrivalent (four-strain) version containing two influenza B strains offered by three different companies and a cell-based version, made by two companies, including Protein Sciences' FluBlok, which has been recommended for adults up to age 49 who have egg allergies.

Health officials said today that limited quantities of quadrivalent flu vaccine will be available in its first season, and that some people may not be able to find it in their area. According to an earlier report, roughly 25 million doses of the 135 million to 139 million doses manufacturers expect to produce will be the...
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