NPR logo CDC: Flu Vaccine Supply Ample

CDC: Flu Vaccine Supply Ample

The amount of available flu vaccine should be adequate this year, despite production problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu vaccine makers are slated to produce at least 70 million doses this year — enough to vaccinate every American who wants a flu shot, said Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Production problems at one of the major manufacturers, Chiron Corporation, have had physicians worried there may be shortages. But Gerberding said three other vaccine makers are prepared to make up for Chiron’s shortfall.

The government had recommended that health care providers reserve early doses of flu vaccine for people in high-risk groups. Officials say that starting now, the vaccine should be provided to anyone who wants it. — Jon Hamilton

FDA Warns Against ADD Drug Cylert

Oct. 24, 2005 — The Food and Drug Administration is advising doctors to not prescribe the drug Cylert or its generic equivalents for attention deficit disorders. Pemoline, which goes by the brand name Cylert, and its generic versions have been associated with liver problems.

In May, Cylert's manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, announced it would stop shipping the drug in September, due to declining sales. Generic companies said they had also discontinued the drug. But pemoline has continued to be available. After analyzing 13 cases of liver toxicity, the FDA has concluded that the risk of problems outweighs the benefit of the drug.

The agency is not pulling remaining stores of the drug off pharmacy shelves, but it has issued an alert to warn doctors of its liver toxicity. The FDA is also recommending that doctors switch their patients to other treatments. — Joanne Silberner