Blowing the Shot
What we can learn from the shortage of H1N1 vaccine.
Second, we must put pressure on the FDA to approve the safe and effective Baxter vaccine, and the CDC and HHS should put in an order for millions of additional doses immediately. Simonsen told me that cell-culture flu vaccines are a high priority for the NIH but that the "regulatory world may not be on the same page."
Third, our public health officials should encourage the use of the inhaled Medimmune FluMist vaccine, which is safe for everyone healthy between the ages of 2 and 50. Medimmune has had a very good yield, and millions of more doses can be made in a hurry. Our national vaccine program must be responsive to a pandemic that has now been declared a national emergency. We must be pro-active, and we must be fearless.
Marc Siegel, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine and the medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center. He is the author of the new e-book Swine Flu: The New Pandemic.
Photograph of H1N1 nasal vaccine by George Frey/Getty Images.