Obama’s Fall Flu Shot

Kimberly Kindy and Ceci Connolly
The Washington Post
May 6, 2009

The Obama administration is considering an unprecedented fall vaccination campaign that could entail giving Americans three flu shots — one to combat annual seasonal influenza and two targeted at the new swine flu virus spreading across the globe.

If enacted, the multibillion-dollar effort would represent the first time that top federal health officials have asked Americans to get more than one flu vaccine in a year, raising serious challenges concerning production, distribution and the ability to track potentially severe side effects.

Another option, said Dale Morse, chairman of the advisory committee on immunization practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is adding to the seasonal flu shot an ingredient targeted at the new virus.

Experts in and out of the administration are evaluating a raft of complicated issues, including who ought to receive an inoculation against the swine flu and whether private vaccine makers can simultaneously manufacture the standard 180 million doses as well as up to 600 million rounds of a new vaccine.

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