Originally Posted by LongIsland
Actually, that number is now just six (6) million.
According to the very latest from the CDC (10/10/06), Fluvirin
doses will distributed in multi-dose
formulations: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaxprioritygroups.htmTherefore, the influenza vaccine Chiron distributes this season will contain full strength thimerosal, not trace amounts.
Last year, Chiron wasn't able to crank out TF formulations either because of their plant safety compliance issues.
Getting back to Fluzone - either way, there's only six (6) million thimerosal free doses of inactivated influenza vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years
of age. Hardly what I would consider adequate . . . or ethical for that matter.
Of course, those children over the age of five could get FluMist, but based on the fact that FluMist has not yet been approved as a cold adapted vaccine (as opposed to frozen), most doctors will stock shots, which will of course contain thimerosal in it's full strength.
And let's not forget the millions of pregnant women
who will be vaccinated this season.
LI, I went to your link. As of October 10, 2006, the CDC still states there will be 8-9 million doses of the thim-free Sanofi vax (Fluzone). Are you saying there's been a change that the CDC hasn't posted yet? Even if so, 6 million is still what I would consider a "large supply," so I stand by my OP. Your link also reaffirms that Novartis/Chiron's Fluvirin is available in a no-preservative dose (really meaning trace amounts in this case), which is also clear from the Fluvirin package insert. (http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/inflchi091405LB2.pdf
) However, I do also see the chart at the bottom of your link stating that Fluvirin is being distributed multi-dose, so either the CDC is contradicting itself, or there's a way I wasn't aware of to distribute in the multi-dose form without full-strength preservative. Here's the excerpt from your link:
Updated Oct 10, 2006
How many doses of thimerosal-free influenza vaccine are expected to be available for the 2006-07 season?
At the current time, sanofi pasteur is projecting that 8 million to 9 million doses of thimerosal-free vaccine in pre-filled syringes or vials will be produced for the 2006-07 influenza season. The majority of this vaccine will be in 0.25 mL syringes (indicated for ages 6-35 months) with the remainder in 0.5 mL vials or syringes (indicated for ages 36 months and older). In addition, GSK’s influenza vaccine for adults 18 years of age and older is preservative-free vaccine and Novartis (formerly Chiron) has a preservative-free preparation for persons 4 years of age and older. The nasal influenza vaccine, FluMist, also is thimerosal-free.
Why am I being so anal about this? Because I've seen post after post on MDC dismissing the flu vax because "it all has mercury." First of all, it's good for folks to be aware that there are mercury-free doses out there, so that they can be requested. I understand you would prefer no one get vaxed, but especially as this is the selective forum, it's good to know that there is a way for parents to get the safest vax possible. Demand does drive supply to some extent, so the more parents demanding mercury-free vaxes, the better. Second, if we dismiss the flu vax solely due to mercury content, it damages our credibility, since there ARE mercury-free formulations available. When I was mulling whether to give my baby the flu vax, I said to myself that it would be easy to dismiss the vax entirely because of mercury, but since I knew my ped stocked Fluzone, I would make up my mind based on other concerns. Frankly, the limited safety data for babies, the effectiveness rates, and the mortality & hospitalization stats for flu were enough to convince me WITHOUT depending on the easy and flawed flu vax=mercury reasoning.