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Influenza Vaccine Essay

740 words - 3 pages

Internet Article: Flu VaccineAbstract:Last year flu season had brought a strain of the Influenza virus with a severity unlike any other seen in previous years. This supposed new strain was a mutated, untreatable strain that was expected to be responsible for several deaths. The media has caused such a wide spread panic over the Influenza bug last year due to the shortage of the Influenza vaccine because a great deal of vaccines became contaminated rendering the public virtually helpless against the attack of this new strain of Influenza. This paper will discuss the supply and demand of the Influenza vaccine and how the shortage affected the price.Influenza VaccineEvery year, the winter seasons dreaded Influenza virus, a virus which, if left to its own devices, can lead to death, especially to the young, the old, and the infirm. Last year's winter brought with it a shortage of the Influenza vaccine, which was due to a contamination of one manufacturer's supply. The resulting decrease in supply caused a dramatic increase in the price demanded by suppliers and the price paid by consumers. (Flaherty A02)Flu Vaccine for the United States was produced solely by two foreign manufacturers last year, Aventis Pasteur and Chiron Corp. These two manufacturers sold their vaccine to U.S. distributors like Stat Pharmaceuticals Inc. of El Cajon, CA and Meds Stat based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL who had sold it to hospitals, pharmacies, and health care clinics. On October 05, 2004 the Chiron Corporation announced that their entire supply of Flu vaccine destined for U.S. markets was unfit for use due to a contamination problem at their British manufacturing plant. This contamination effectively reduced the U.S. supply of flu vaccine by half. Unfortunately, for consumers, though profitable to the distributors the drop in supply did not diminish the demand for the vaccine (Flaherty A02).The quantity of Flu vaccine demanded in the U.S. was greater than the original supply let alone the reduced supply. The market price for the vaccine was between eight and nine dollars prior to the October announcement by Chiron, that the vaccine was contaminated, and soon afterwards doubled in price. By the eighth of October the vaccine was being offered to pharmacies at prices approaching 90 dollars...

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