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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:

Current Vaccine Shortages & Delays
Last Updated December 30, 2008

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This web page contains the latest national information about vaccine supplies and provides guidance to healthcare providers who are facing vaccine shortages or delays.

On June 30, CDC's Travelers' Health web section updated its yellow fever vaccine supply statement. July 3

On August 29, CDC's Rabies site updated its status on the rabies vaccine supply. Sept. 3

Chart of Vaccines* in Delay or Shortage

(Vaccines are listed in order used for the Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule.)

National Vaccine Supply Shortages
Temporary Change From Routine Recommendation
Hepatitis B

See note 5

No Change in Routine Recommendation.
Rotavirus No  
Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP and Tdap) No  
Td No  
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) See note 1
Pneumococcal Conjugated (PCV) No  
Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (PPV) No  
Inactivated Polio (IPV) No  
Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) See note 4
Influenza No
Current information about influenza, see www.cdc.gov/flu
Varicella/Zoster See note 2

No change in Routine Recommendation. Zoster vaccine is available for ordering; however, the manufacturer is experiencing shipping delays. July 11

Hepatitis A See note 3
No change in Routine Recommendation.
Conjugated Meningococcal (MCV4) No  
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) No  

*Note: Only those vaccines included on the recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule are included in this update.

Note1: Merck is working to restore market availability of HIB-containing vaccines, PedvaxHIB® and Comvax®. Merck's original projection was to return these vaccines to market in the fourth quarter of 2008; however, they recently identified the need for an additional manufacturing change that will require a regulatory filing. Based on this situation, Merck is revising its projected market return to mid-2009 in the U.S. CDC will provide updates as more information becomes available from Merck. Oct 17, 2008

Note2: Merck has obtained FDA approval for resumption of manufacturing of Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) bulk. VZV bulk is used to manufacture varicella vaccine, MMR-V vaccine, and zoster vaccine. There is adequate supply of Varivax® (varicella vaccine) to fully implement the recommended 2-dose immunization schedule for all age groups, including catch-up.   ProQuad® (MMR-V) is currently unavailable.  Zostavax® (zoster vaccine) is available for ordering, however, the manufacturer is experiencing shipping delays.  Merck vaccine supply status updates including specific shipping status information for zoster vaccine is updated weekly and may be found at www.merckvaccines.com (exit site). Jul 11, 2008

Note3: Merck & Co had previously experienced production delays that resulted in temporarily not accepting orders for Pediatric and Adult hepatitis A vaccines (Pediatric & Adult VAQTA®). As of December 1, 2008, Merck's Pediatric/Adolescent formulation of hepatitis A vaccine, VAQTA®, is available for ordering. Based on current information, it is estimated that the Adult formulation of VAQTA® will be available in second quarter 2009. GSK production and supply of their Pediatric and Adult hepatitis A vaccine (Pediatric & Adult Havrix®) and their Adult hepatitis A/hepatitis B combination vaccine (Twinrix®) are currently in good supply to meet demand. Dec 16, 2008

Note4: On Friday, December 15, 2008, Merck announced that it was not currently producing or taking orders for the monovalent vaccines ATTENUVAX® (measles vaccine), MUMPSVAX® (mumps vaccine) and MERUVAX® (rubella vaccine). Merck will continue to meet the public health and medical need for vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella by providing M-M-R II in adequate supply to meet demand in the U.S. and to help meet the demand internationally. Dec 16, 2008

Note5: Beginning in January 2009, Merck expects to experience a supply interruption in the U.S. for the adult formulation of their hepatitis B vaccine, Recombivax HB®. Merck anticipates that supplies of the different images of the adult formulation of Recombivax HB (vials and syringes) as well as the dialysis formulation will be depleted over the first quarter of 2009. Merck will provide updates on supply of the adult formulations as additional information becomes available. At this time Merck does not anticipate the pediatric formulation will be affected, and expects it to be available in adequate supply to meet anticipated demand. Supply of GSK's Adult hepatitis B vaccine (Adult Engerix-B®) and Adult hepatitis A/hepatitis B combination vaccine (Twinrix®) is currently sufficient to meet demand for routine adult usage of this vaccine as well as CDC's ongoing High Risk Adult Hepatitis B Initiative. GSK is gearing up production of these vaccines, to meet ongoing demand. new Dec 30, 2008

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Why are there vaccine shortages?

In the United States shortages of many vaccines in the recommended childhood immunization schedule occurred in the past. Some of these shortages were widespread while others were localized. Reasons for these shortages were multi-factorial and included companies leaving the vaccine market, manufacturing or production problems, and insufficient stockpiles. Consequently, some shortages were only specific to one manufacturer.

Shortages of several of these vaccines necessitated temporary changes in recommendations for their use. During that period, summary information about the shortages including projected duration and recommendations for temporary changes in the childhood immunization schedule were provided.

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Who can I contact to answer my questions?

  • Questions including those dealing with changes in child care and school requirements necessitated by vaccine supply problems when they occur can be answered by
    State Health Department immunization programs at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/international/relres.html

    General immunization questions can be answered by
    The CDC Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO
    (1-800-232-4636) English and Español

How often will this information be updated?
This page on the NCIRD web site www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/shortages/ is updated as needed to provide public information on vaccine shortages and/or delays.

The FDA's web page on Biological Product Shortages www.fda.gov/cber/shortage/shortage.htm (exit) provides additional information regarding regulatory issues related to vaccine supply.

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Acronyms and Abbreviations

AAFP - American Academy of Family Physicians
AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics
ACIP - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
FDA - Food and Drug Administration
GAO - United States General Accounting Office
MMWR - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
NCIRD - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
TTY - teletypewriter
Other acronyms

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Related Information

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Archived Shortages & Delays

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This page last modified on December 30, 2008
Content last reviewed on April 24, 2008
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

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Vaccines and Immunizations