Jan 2007 Table of Contents

LETTERS

Flu vaccine distribution



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Fam Pract Manag. 2007 Jan;14(1):11.

The main reason physicians are still waiting for their flu vaccine was not addressed in the news story “Another flu season, another vaccine delay” [News & Trends, November/December 2006]. We believe we are unable to get the vaccine in a timely manner because most of the vaccines are shipped to private companies for distribution through pharmacy and grocery chains. These companies receive and administer the vaccine before our orders are even considered. While our patients get their flu shots at the local pharmacy or supermarket, we don't even have a ship date. When we finally get our order, many of our patients may already be vaccinated and then we are stuck with nonreturnable vaccine. It's not an availability issue; it's a distribution issue. The control and administration of flu vaccine should not be in the hands of the grocer or pharmacist. As physicians, we have the responsibility to diagnose and treat illness, so we should have the tools to prevent it at least as soon as chain stores do, if not before.

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