Sanofi Pasteur recently began limiting monthly orders for two of its combination vaccines and likely will continue that practice through September, according to a company source.
In a letter(www.vaccineshoppe.com) sent last month to health care professionals, Sanofi said a manufacturing delay is responsible for limiting supplies of the company's combined diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis adsorbed, inactivated poliovirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine, marketed as Pentacel, as well as its diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed, marketed as Daptacel. The order limitations are intended to maximize availability of the existing DTaP supply and minimize the impact on physician practices.
The letter also noted that because there is another DTaP vaccine manufacturer -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) -- "little to no impact to the routine childhood immunization schedule is anticipated." Indeed, no change in routine vaccination recommendations has been made at this time.
The CDC estimates(www.cdc.gov) that Sanofi's single-antigen inactivated polio and Hib vaccines currently are in sufficient supply to address historic usage of Pentacel, as well as their use as single-antigen vaccines, and that GSK's vaccine supply is sufficient to address the need for DTaP-containing products.
According to Rob Perry, director of U.S. communications for GSK, the company will fill Sanofi's gap with its diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis absorbed, hepatitis B (recombinant) and inactivated poliovirus vaccine, marketed as Pediarix, and its diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed, marketed as Infanrix.
"GSK does project our production and supply of single antigen and combination DTaP products are sufficient to meet current estimates of the supply shortfalls on other DTaP products," Perry told AAFP News Now. "We're committed to closely working with the CDC to continue appropriately monitoring and addressing this issue."
Sanofi customers with questions about the shortage may call the company toll-free at (800) 822-2463.