WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Delivery of some swine flu vaccines has been delayed because companies cannot make as much as they had hoped, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.
The CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat said while 40 million doses had been anticipated for the end of October, only about 28 to 30 million doses would be available.
“Yields for vaccine are lower than would be hoped,” Schuchat said in a telephone briefing.
She also said deaths from H1N1 swine flu were above the epidemic threshold in some U.S. cities and states. H1N1 flu activity was widespread in 41 states, she said.
“It is unprecedented for this time of year to have the whole country having such high levels of activity,” Schuchat said.
She also said more children had died in the space of a few weeks than usually die in an entire influenza season. “There are now a total of 86 children under 18 who have died from the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus,” Schuchat said.
As of Wednesday 11.4 million doses of H1N1 vaccine were available and 8 million had been ordered by states for distribution.
The U.S. government has ordered vaccine from five companies: Sanofi-Aventis SA, CSL Ltd, Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca unit MedImmune.
Schuchat said 15 percent to 20 percent of patients with H1N1 who needed to be hospitalized were requiring intensive care.
Editing by David Morgan and Doina Chiacu
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.