By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
January 16, 2013
Sanofi, the largest flu vaccine manufacturer in America, said it has sold out four out of the six different dosages of Fluzone seasonal flu vaccine due to high demand this season.
The company said it is unable to make more because they are busy working on next year’s flu season vaccine.
Pediatrician Dr. Ofelia Maristela said the vaccine shortage worries her.
“Every single year, I pre-order thousands of doses and this time, we’re really running low because a lot of parents who didn’t use have flu shots in the past, are now asking for it,” said Maristela. “Yes, we are very concerned. We are trying to mobilize every source that we can. But I don’t know what will happen.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said there are reports of sporadic shortages on flu medicine, particularly on flu treatment for children.
Pharmaceutical company Roche said they lack enough doses of the liquid Tamiflu, a drug given to children to shorten the duration of flu.
The company says it is working to expedite new shipments of Tamiflu to distributors as new supplies become available.
And because of these challenges during the flu season, dr. Maristela says it’s best to stay healthy.
“What we tell our patients is to maintain their resistance, by eating your five cups of fruits and vegetables every day, gargle with warm water and salt — that’s the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and drink a lot of water. / Even if the viruses are around you, if your resistance is high — with adequate sleep and nutritious food, I’m sure you will be able to fight the viruses,” said Maristela.