Friday, March 4, 2005
Som good News on the Flu Vaccine front. The New York Times reported yesterday that the Chiron Corporation received permission to resume production of the flu vaccine, potentially in time to avoid a shortage next winter. As was mentioned earlier in this blog, doctors had been having some difficulties placing orders for next winter. Chiron still must receive permission from the Food and Drug Administriation before it can sell its vaccine here in the U.S. The Times reports,
"This is extremely encouraging and kind of a milestone in the process," Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, the director of the drug agency's branch in charge of vaccines, said in an interview. But he added, "They do still have a number of things to do to convince the F.D.A. and make us comfortable that the vaccine they produce will be as safe and effective as we expect."
Dr. Goodman said that once manufacturing had resumed, probably in the spring, his agency would conduct a comprehensive inspection.
Dr. Jeanne M. Santoli, an immunization official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was cautious.
"We absolutely cannot count on Chiron being able to supply vaccine for the U.S. based on the news today, although it is good news," Dr. Santoli said in a telephone interview.
So, some hopeful news but still some concerns as well. [bm]