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Wyeth Starts Allocation of Prevnar

Kate Traynor

A notice in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) warns that "production constraints" could cause local shortages of Prevnar, Wyeth's seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, during the first or second quarter of 2004.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wyeth has instituted an allocation plan for the "equitable distribution" of the vaccine in the private sector. An allocation program for states that contract with CDC for the vaccine will be based on past need for the product and existing state inventories of the vaccine. Allocation of the vaccine could continue through March 2004.

Local shortages aside, the MMWR notice states that the total current national supply of Prevnar is sufficient for vaccination of children according to the standard four-dose schedule. CDC is not modifying the childhood immunization schedule for the vaccine at this time but will in the future, if necessary.

CDC urges health care providers who do not have enough vaccine for their patients to contact Wyeth at 800-666-7248. Providers who obtain the product through the public sector, including the Vaccines for Children program, should contact their state health department's immunization program for additional vaccine.