State Calls for Triage of Tetanus Shots Amid Spot Shortages of Some Drugs
In Oregon, the nationwide shortage of tetanus vaccine has forced the state Health Division to ask some schools and summer camps to waive their requirements for booster shots this year. The agency says cutting back on routine tetanus-diphtheria shots will not cause an increase in outbreaks, and it will allow existing supplies of the vaccine to be used for high-priority patients, such as people who travel to countries where diphtheria is common or people who have suffered serious wounds. The shortage in the amount of tetanus vaccine comes against a backdrop of more and more reports from doctors of spot shortages of some prescription drugs. Both the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians and the Oregon Medical Association have urged the national American Medical Association to meet with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to find a way to ensure that critical vaccines and drugs are not only made available, but are distributed in a timely manner.