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How the vaccine works:

Influenza vaccine is produced by growing the virus in eggs. The virus is
killed and processed to create the vaccine, which is given by injection
under the skin. The body then produces antibodies to the virus over the
next two to four weeks. If the immunized person then comes into contact with
the influenza virus, the antibodies attack and kill the virus before it has a
chance to cause infection. The vaccine contains the 3 most likely strains
to be active during the "flu season"

Why the shortage:

Almost half of the nation's flu vaccine will not be delivered this year.
Chiron, a major manufacturer of flu vaccine, will not be distributing any
influenza vaccine this flu season. Chiron was to make 46-48 million doses
vaccine for the United States. Chiron is a British company. Recently
British health officials stopped Chiron from distributing and making the vaccine
when inspectors found unsanitary conditions in the labs. Some lots of the
vaccine were recalled and destroyed.

Why is our vaccine made in the UK and not the US?

The major pharmaceutical companies in the US provided almost 90% of the
nations flu vaccine at one time. They did this despite a very low profit
margin for the product. Basically, they were doing us a favor. In the late
80's a man from North Carolina who had received the vaccine got the flu.
The strain he caught was one of the strains in that years vaccine made by a US
company. What did he do? He sued and he won. He was awarded almost $5
million! After that case was appealed and lost, most US pharmaceutical
companies stopped making the vaccine. The liability out weighed the profit
margin. Since UK and Canadian laws prohibit such frivolous law suits UK
and Canadian companies began selling the vaccine in the US.

By the way...the lawyer that represented the man in the flu shot law suit
was a young ambulance chaser by the name of John Edwards.
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