Supply problems expected for several vaccines

Supply problems are expected for some vaccines in the coming months, but it does not look like these problems will have an effect on the overall availability of any single vaccine, according to a recent report.

The report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory on Immunization Practices, according to

Jeanne Santoli, the deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Services Division in the National Immunization Program, provided a further update of the situation at a recent ACIP meeting.

Santoli told that Merck is not currently distributing the adult hepatitis B vaccine, although dialysis formulation returned last summer. Merck believes that the adult formulation should be ready by the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Santoli said that the GlaxoSmithKline version of the hepatitis B vaccine, as well as the A/B vaccine, are sufficient to meet demand. Merck does not see distribution for its hepatitis A vaccine beginning until 2012.

The supply of the MMR-V vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella is expected to be gone by early March, reports. It is a known product outage.

"Fortunately, Merck has adequate supply of both their MMR vaccine and their VARIVAX vaccine to meet current demand for MMR and varicella vaccination,"” Dr. Santoli said, according to

Significant backorders have been filled for the zoster vaccine, but there is expected to be less product available, so more backorders are expected.

Dr. Santoli also said that Infanrix, Kinrix and Engerix-B pediatric will be constrained in the next few months. In all cases, alternate brands are available.