Two Flu Vaccine Manufacturers Announce Delays in Product Delivery

October 21, 2015 09:21 am Chris Crawford

In the past week, two vaccine manufacturers announced delays in the delivery of their influenza vaccine products.

[Health care staff giving shot to adolescent girl]

Sanofi Pasteur announced a two- to three-week delay in shipments of its quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine Fluzone -- specifically, the 0.25-mL and 0.5-mL prefilled syringe presentations for children.

MedImmune said its quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine nasal spray Flumist also will experience a slowing of delivery because some lots of product are outside of specifications. Product that has already shipped or is still waiting to be shipped is not affected.

MedImmune expects to ship two-thirds of its quadrivalent Flumist by the end of November and will continue to have product available throughout the entire season.

Fluzone Delay

Corey Robertson, senior director of scientific and medical affairs U.S. at Sanofi Pasteur, said the company has delivered about half of its 0.25-mL prefilled syringes to health care professionals and the CDC's Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The remaining doses continue to be delivered, and shipments will be completed in November.

Sanofi Pasteur has shared this timeline with all clinicians and VFC program participants that have current orders placed.

The company has already completed delivery of all reserved Fluzone quadrivalent vaccine supplied in multidose vials and has ample additional supply available for immediate shipment. This presentation can be used for patients as young as age 6 months.

"We regret any impact that our delayed shipping of certain Fluzone vaccine presentations might have on immunization efforts; however, please be advised, despite the delays, there is no shortage of Fluzone vaccine supply this season," said Robertson.

Sanofi Pasteur has an "ample supply" of additional doses of Fluzone vaccine in multidose vials available for immediate shipment, and the company will continue to take orders for additional 0.25-mL prefilled syringes for November shipment.

"We fully anticipate that all Fluzone vaccine doses will be delivered to support health care provider immunization efforts in advance of peak influenza season, which typically occurs sometime during December through March," Robertson added.

Flumist Delay

On a CDC vaccine supply stakeholders call, Heather Richmond, CDC and Department of Defense liaison for MedImmune, said the company had already delivered 4 million doses of Flumist this season and will continue to deliver throughout the season.

Regarding the delay in delivery of additional doses of its quadravalent nasal spray, said Richmond, "This obviously is not something we had expected or anticipated for the marketplace, and we apologize for the challenges this creates for both providers and patients."

Richmond said the plan is for all shipments to go out by the end of December, and then January orders will be filled and shipped as needed.

"We have been pulsing vaccine out over the past couple weeks, so the distributors got some last week and this week," she said. "So it is coming out, just not in the volume we initially anticipated."

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