SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016

Record influenza vaccine production expected in the U.S.

The production of influenza vaccines for the United States market is likely to move into record territory again this year, as manufacturers’ estimate that up to 173 million doses could be made.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the total number of vaccine doses is expected to range from 166 to 173 million, compared with the 163 million doses distributed for the 2010-2011 season, CIDRAP News reports.

The projected production totals for the companies making vaccines for the US market GlaxoSmithKline with 35 million to 37 million doses, Novartis with 30 million to 35 million doses, MedImmune with 16 million doses and CSL with 15 million doses.

This coming year’s vaccine will target the same three flu strain’s as last season’s, which theoretically should reduce the risk of production problems and delays, CIDRAP News reports.

"Last year we shipped approximately 40 million doses," Liz Power, director of media relations for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, said, according to CIDRAP News. "That was consistent with our projection at last year's Flu Vaccine Summit, 35 to 40 million."

The CDC estimated this week that 42.3 percent of the U.S. population - or approximately 131 million people - received a flu vaccination for the 2010-2011 season, CIDRAP News reports.