Amid coronavirus crisis, flu vaccine makers see record US production

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: Aug 16, 2020, 08:17 AM(IST)

Flu shots Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In the US, pharmaceutical companies plan to make around 196 million doses to serve the population of 330 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Global influenza vaccine makers, in view of the coronavirus pandemic, have seen almost an 11 per cent increase in production of doses for the coming flu season, as authorities try to ease the burden on hospitals ahead of an expected COVID-19 resurgence.

In the US, pharmaceutical companies plan to make around 196 million doses to serve the population of 330 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC estimates flu killed between 24,000 and 62,000 last year.

Sanofi, Seqirus and GSK are the three biggest companies in the market.

Major pharmacy chain CVS, which administers flu vaccines without prescription, is ordering 18 million doses, double the amount in 2019.

Vaccine maker Seqirus plans to increase production by roughly 15 percent in the US -- from 52 million to 60 million doses, as does Sanofi -- from 70 to 80 million.

Sanofi shipped its first batches on July 22, three weeks earlier than in 2019.

Widespread flu vaccination could thus help free up hospital beds, a vital public health measure to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Americans are already among the most vaccinated peoples against the flu in the world: vaccination is recommended from the age of six months.

Other countries, such as France, recommend it to people at risk of complications, including those 65 and older.

Read in App