Revised interim guidance for late-season influenza vaccination
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Revised interim guidance for late-season influenza vaccination

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      Wednesday, December 22, 2004, 0:54 EST (12:54 PM EST)


      On October 5, 2004, Chiron Corporation announced that the company could not provide vaccine for distribution in the United States for the 2004-2005 influenza season. At that time, CDC, in coordination with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), issued interim recommendations to direct available inactivated influenza vaccine to persons in certain priority groups. The primary goal of the recommendations by CDC and ACIP is to reduce the risk for complications from influenza among persons who are most vulnerable. This year the reduced national supply of inactivated influenza vaccine led CDC to issue interim influenza vaccination recommendations that were more restrictive than usual. The recommendations issued on October 5, 2004 included all children aged 6-23 months; adults aged 65 years and older; persons aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions; all women who will be pregnant during the influenza season; residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities; children aged 6 months-18 years on chronic aspirin therapy; healthcare workers involved in direct patient care; and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged <6 months.

      Since the interim recommendations were issued, the influenza vaccine supply and demand situation has continued to evolve in the United States so that some, but not all, local areas appear to have adequate supplies to meet the demand for vaccine from those in the interim priority groups. This has resulted in unused vaccine in some areas of the country.

      Influenza disease activity in the United States has remained relatively low but is expected to increase during the weeks ahead. In addition, influenza vaccination coverage among this season's interim priority groups is lower than it has been in recent influenza seasons. Given these considerations, CDC recommends that aggressive efforts should continue to reach unvaccinated persons in high risk priority groups and use available vaccine to vaccinate such persons. Adequate time remains for persons in these priority groups to receive the benefits of vaccination before influenza begins to widely circulate in most communities. CDC will continue to allocate available vaccine to reach these priority groups.

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