Childhood Vaccines: Challenges in Preventing Future Shortages

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Vaccine shortages began to appear in November 2000, when supplies of the tetanus and diptheria booster fell short. By October 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported shortages of five vaccines that protect against eight childhood diseases. In addition to diptheria and tetanus vaccines, vaccines to protect against pertussis, invasive pneumococcal disease, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella were in short supply. In July 2002, updated CDC data indicated supplies were returning to normal for most vaccines. However, the shortage of vaccine to protect against invasive ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 17, 2002.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Vaccine shortages began to appear in November 2000, when supplies of the tetanus and diptheria booster fell short. By October 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported shortages of five vaccines that protect against eight childhood diseases. In addition to diptheria and tetanus vaccines, vaccines to protect against pertussis, invasive pneumococcal disease, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella were in short supply. In July 2002, updated CDC data indicated supplies were returning to normal for most vaccines. However, the shortage of vaccine to protect against invasive pneumococcal disease was expected to continue through at least late 2002. Shortages have prompted federal authorities to recommend deferring some vaccinations and have caused most states to reduce or suspend immunization requirements for school and day care programs so that children who have not received all mandatory immunizations can enroll. States are concerned that failure to be vaccinated at a later date may reduce the share of the population protected and increase the potential for disease to spread; however, data are not currently available to measure these effects. Many factors, including production problems and unanticipated demand for new vaccines, contributed to recent shortages. Although problems leading to the shortages have largely been resolved, the potential exists for shortages to recur. Federal agencies and advisory committees are exploring ways to help stabilize the nation's vaccine supply, but few long-term solutions have emerged. Although CDC is considering expanding vaccine stockpiles to provide a cushion in the event of a supply disruption, limited supply and manufacturing capacity will restrict CDC's ability to build them."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 17, 2002

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Childhood Vaccines: Challenges in Preventing Future Shortages, text, September 17, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290101/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.