Millions of vaccine doses to be burned

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

The swine-flu vaccine became available in large quantities just after the largest wave of swine-flu cases — which turned out to be much less deadly than feared.  Now millions of unused vaccine doses are going to be burned:

About a quarter of the swine flu vaccine produced for the U.S. public has expired — meaning that a whopping 40 million doses worth about $260 million is being written off as trash.
About 30 million more doses will expire later and may go unused, according to one government estimate. If all that vaccine expires, more than 43 percent of the supply for the U.S. public will have gone to waste.
Federal officials defended the huge purchase as a necessary risk in the face of a never-before-seen virus. Many health experts had feared the new flu could be the deadly global epidemic they had long warned about, but it ended up killing fewer people than seasonal flu.

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