British officials say they warned the U.S. government last month that problems at a drug manufacturing plant could disrupt influenza vaccines to the United States.
According to a report in Saturday's Washington Post, British Department of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/ 19/94/377/12954_radiation.html ' target=_blank>Health officials say they notified their American counterparts of a possible shortage on September 13, after drug maker Chiron announced four million doses of the vaccine were contaminated.
The shortfall of almost one half of available &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2003/09/15/49980.html ' target=_blank>flu vaccines caught U.S. health agencies off guard last Wednesday, forcing states to ration the available supply for high-risk individuals, such as children and the elderly, says Voice of America.
British and U.S. regulators continued their inspection of a contaminated vaccine factory in Liverpool, England, as the health agencies for both countries sought on Saturday to clarify how the problems unfolded that likely have cut the United States' flu vaccine supply by nearly half this year.
Both the company that produced the vaccine, Chiron, and the Food and Drug Administration say that the company notified the agency of a contamination problem at the factory in late August. Both said reports from the company's internal investigation indicated that the problem was probably of limited scope.
They said they first became aware of the potential for severe disruption when the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the British drug regulator, revoked Chiron's manufacturing license for the vaccine Fluvirin on Tuesday, wrote AZ Central.