Will There be a Flu Vaccine Shortage This Year?

If you know anyone in Canada, tell them to get their flu shot now.

Issues at a flu vaccine production center have left our northern neighbor 2 million shots short.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the pharmaceutical company responsible for providing 53% of Canada’s flu vaccine supply, reported that the some batches of this year’s three-strain flu vaccine failed quality control tests.How does a flu vaccine shortage start, and will America be next? Test Smartly Labs is sharing the details today.

Flu Vaccine Shortage in America?

How does a flu vaccine shortage begin?

Since the virus changes every year, flu vaccine manufacturers have to produce new batches annually. This means that the flu vaccine is more effective since it targets the correct strains, but it also means that the previous year’s vaccine can’t just be reused or duplicated, complicating the production process.

Test Smartly Labs | Flu Vaccine ShortageOnce the next year’s common flu strains are identified, vaccine manufacturers have a very tight production timeline that includes testing and distribution. Thus, if there are any problems during production, like quality control issues, a flu vaccine shortage may occur.

Why can’t production begin earlier?

Flu vaccine manufacturers determine how much to make based on orders made in advance. Since the flu vaccine changes from year to year, no manufacturer makes much excess vaccine.

Can’t they produce the flu vaccine during flu season?

Manufacturers do continue producing the flu vaccine during flu season. However, since demand is high then, this doesn’t always compensate for a flu vaccine shortage. Plus, the further we are into the flu season, the more likely people are to catch and spread the flu — which is why it’s ideal for you to receive the flu vaccine early on.

Protect Yourself & Your Workers With Flu Vaccine

The possibility of a flu vaccine shortage is real — just last year, vaccine providers in San Francisco reported shortages. You should protect yourself and your workplace with the flu vaccine before it’s too late. Find your nearest Test Smartly Labs location today to learn more about our mobile and on-site flu vaccine services.


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