Gov. Blagojevich partners with Mayor
Bloomberg to secure 200,000 doses of flu vaccine from Europe for New York
Additional doses should provide the city with
enough to vaccinate the most vulnerable residents
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[NOV. 11, 2004]
CHICAGO -- Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced
Wednesday that Illinois is helping New York City secure an
additional 200,000 doses of flu vaccine from Europe for New York
City residents. This additional vaccine, manufactured by
GlaxoSmithKline in Germany and Aventis Pasteur in France, was
ordered from a licensed British wholesaler through a partnership
with Illinois. This additional vaccine will allow virtually every
high-risk New York City resident who wants a flu shot to be
"The FDA told us that they
are committed to working with us to evaluate the flu vaccine we've
secured so people who need it most can get it as soon as possible,"
Gov. Blagojevich said. "If they approve our request, nursing home
residents, senior citizens, young children in hospitals and people
with suppressed immune systems can get the flu shots they need. And
with Mayor Bloomberg on board, we have another powerful force to
help make sure that the FDA does the right thing for the people of
Illinois, New Mexico and New York City."
"We have been working tirelessly to get
the flu vaccine that New York City needs to protect our most
vulnerable from what can be a deadly illness," said Mayor Bloomberg.
"Our health department has worked hard to get over a million doses
of vaccine into the city, and now, with some additional
entrepreneurship, we will have on hand the additional doses we need
to save lives. I'd like to thank Illinois Governor Blagojevich for
partnering with New York City and for his leadership in securing
vaccine from abroad."
Last week Gov. Blagojevich helped
the state of New Mexico find 150,000 doses of vaccine to meet its
critical need. Altogether, Illinois has located nearly 650,000 doses
of flu vaccine from Europe that can be shipped to the United States
within hours of FDA approval.
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Illinois officials met with the FDA
on Oct. 29 to provide information about the labeling, movement and
storage of the French-made Aventis Pasteur vaccine and about the
state's plans for distributing the vaccine to its highest risk
populations. Illinois' representatives also provided information
about Ecosse, the licensed British wholesaler that has facilitated
the vaccine purchases for all three states. The FDA has indicated
that it is investigating the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, is working
with Aventis to verify the origins of the French vaccine and will
expedite any necessary inspections or further evaluations.
The United States is facing a severe
flu vaccine shortage as a result of problems found with doses
produced by Chiron Corp., a manufacturer that was expected to
produce nearly half of the 100 million doses needed for U.S.
residents. Now the FDA is looking for alternative supplies to help
supplement the 55 million doses of vaccine manufactured by its other
supplier, Aventis Pasteur. The agency recently announced that it is
investigating the safety of nearly 5 million doses of vaccine made
by two different companies in Germany and Canada. Those doses could
be ready later this winter.
[News release from the