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Flu vaccine shortage.

This winter, more Americans than usual might be feeling achy and feverish. A shortage of the flu vaccine in the United States will force many people to go without shots this flu season. U.S. health officials say the limited supply now available should go to the highest risk population, which includes seniors, babies 6 to 23 months old, and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

"We have millions of vaccine doses on hand for the most vulnerable Americans," President Bush said last month.

The vaccine crisis began last summer when British authorities suspended the shipment of about 48 million doses to the U.S. Scientists discovered that those doses--a little less than half of the U.S. supply--were contaminated and unsafe for use.

U.S. officials say that extra vaccines will be made available in January. But the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the additional supply will arrive too late. According to the CDC, people should get vaccinated in October or November to be best protected against the virus.
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 15, 2004
Words:177
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