06 Flu Vaccine Supply for UK

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Flu Vaccine

The U.K. will receive its planned influenza vaccine supply for the upcoming season, although the delivery of the vaccine will be spread over a longer period, the Department of Health said Monday.

The announcement follows an alert from the U.K.'s Vaccine Industry Group in June about possible Europe-wide delays of flu vaccines, or even shortages, as a result of problems growing one of the virus strains contained in the vaccine.

Every year the World Health Organization identifies the new strains of virus judged likely to cause influenza.

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Although vaccine manufacturers have managed to overcome production issues, the initial delay means that vaccines delivery will be completed in December, the agency said.

The Department of Health ordered 15.2 million doses of flu vaccine for the current year, an increase of around a million doses compared with 2005.

Paul Rayner, chairman of the U.K. Vaccine Industry Group, said vaccine manufacturers expect to deliver more than 9 million vaccine doses by the end of October and 13 million by the end of November.

Agency web site: http://www.doh.gov.uk

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