NEW YORK - The minimum number of vaccine doses for the coming flu season should be in the range of last year's supply, although the exact number of doses is not yet known, federal health officials said yesterday.
Authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anticipate about 50 million to 60 million doses, which can be administered as injections, and 3 million of the vaccine-nasal spray.
Sanofi-Pasteur of Swiftwater, Pa., will produce the injectable vaccines; MedImummne Inc., of Gaithersburg, will produce the spray.
The CDC said that an additional company, in Britain, is seeking licensure in the United States, and a second, involved in last year's vaccine shortfall, is awaiting clearance on its manufacturing facility. Vaccinations are expected to begin in about eight weeks.
California-based Chiron Inc. is awaiting word of a Food and Drug Administration inspection of its British manufacturing facility. Contaminated doses at the site last year created a chaotic vaccination season and forced the rationing of flu shots.