ATLANTA (AP) - Flu vaccine manufacturers plan to make more doses
for next season, even though this year's batch was largely ineffective.
The five producers are planning for 143 million doses for the 2008-2009 flu season. They made about 120 million for this year, which has been the worst in four years in terms of adults dying from flu and pneumonia.
The companies make an educated guess every year on a vaccine
against three strains. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the vaccine was only 44 percent effective.
The new vaccine is expected to be delivered in September.
Health officials say the flu results in 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year. The elderly, young children and people
with chronic illnesses are considered at greatest risk.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)