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Aventis Predicts Td Shortage Will End by Fall

Kate Traynor

The nation’s sole manufacturer of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td) for adults expects the national shortage of the product to diminish by this summer and to end in the fall.

Aventis Pasteur Inc. stopped shipping Td to physicians’ offices last June but continued distributing the product to hospitals and clinics for use in patients who urgently need the vaccine. The company announced in late January that Td should be ready to ship to physicians’ offices in mid-2002. Normal distribution of Td should resume by this fall.

Aventis reminded health care providers to defer routine Td boosters for adults and adolescents in accordance with a recommendation made last spring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC had also asked health care providers to record all deferrals so that patients can receive the vaccine when the shortage ends.

Aventis has assembled a free kit to help health care professionals track patients who need to be contacted about receiving a deferred Td dose. Each kit contains "missed dose" stickers to place on a patient’s chart, a log sheet on which to record missed doses, and reminder post cards to send to patients once the vaccine becomes available again.

The kit can be requested online at Health care providers must complete an online registration process before ordering the kit through the Web site.