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2004-05 Flu Vaccine Shortage: Who Should Get Vaccinated

Armen Hareyan's picture

Almost half of the nation's flu vaccine will not be delivered this year. Chiron, a major manufacturer of flu vaccine, will not be distributing any influenza vaccine this flu season. Chiron was to make 46-48 million doses vaccine for the United States.

Because of the vaccine shortage, CDC is changing its guidance about who should get vaccinated this season.

Who should be vaccinated?

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The existing flu vaccine supplies should be given to protect people who are at greatest risk from serious complications from influenza disease.

Everyone in this group should seek vaccination:

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Children ages 6 months to 23 months
  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic lung or heart disorders including heart disease and asthma
  • Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic metabolic diseases (including diabetes), kidney diseases, blood disorders (such as sickle cell anemia), or weakened immune systems, including persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Children and teenagers, 6 months to 18 years of age, who take aspirin daily
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
  • Household members and out-of-home caregivers of infants under the age of 6 months (Children under the age of 6 months cannot be vaccinated.)
  • Healthcare workers who provide direct, hands-on care to patients

Who should go without vaccination?

Healthy people 2 to 64 years of age are asked to postpone or skip getting a flu shot this year so that available vaccine can go to protect those at greater risk for flu complications.

What about the nasal vaccine, FluMist