CDC and drugmakers boost influenza vaccine doses

Public health officials and vaccine manufacturers are making millions of extra influenza vaccine doses in anticipation of a simultaneous assault of coronavirus and seasonal influenza this winter.

Public health officials and vaccine manufacturers are making millions of extra influenza vaccine doses in anticipation of a simultaneous assault of coronavirus and seasonal influenza this winter. Major influenza vaccine manufacturers report they plan to boost production by approximately 10%, to about 189 million doses, up from 170 million doses last year, to ensure enough doses exist for an anticipated surge in people seeking influenza shots. CDC has taken the rare step of purchasing 7 million doses directly from manufacturers to be distributed to states for adult vaccination, about 14 times the 500,000 doses the agency typically purchases for adults. Disease experts say reducing episodes of influenza could prove pivotal in freeing up space in hospitals and medical offices to deal with COVID-19. Health officials are especially concerned about people at higher risk for both the coronavirus and influenza, including residents and employees at long-term care facilities, African Americans, Hispanics, and people with underlying medical conditions. Some immunization advocates are pushing the government to tap pandemic-related emergency funds to buy additional adult doses. Officials at Sanofi Pasteur and Seqirus, which have committed to producing 75 million and 55 million doses, respectively, said they have received an increase in preorders from customers, including retailers and health care systems.