Study Reveals Gaps in Vaccine Program
United Press International;
A study conducted by University of Michigan division of general pediatrics Director Gary Freed and colleagues examined shortages of heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevnar, which is recommended for all children under the age of two years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Out of 405 practices in 12 states, more than 50 percent reported shortages of the vaccine with both private and public stock affected. Currently, states are stocking both private and public supplies of Prevnar; depending on a patient's insurance, a particular supply of Prevnar is used for immunization. Freed suggests a revamping of the system which allows states to work with the CDC to provide better access to the vaccine, and he also wants a healthier vaccine industry, which is currently suffering from liability issues and low profits. Since Prevnar is difficult to make and takes up to nine months to produce one batch, the distribution of the vaccine and the immunization of children with the vaccine must be better coordinated to prevent future shortages, says Freed.