Thousands of Ocean County flu shots may be destroyed despite shortage

(12/02/04) TOMS RIVER An ironic turn of events may force health officials in Ocean County to destroy flu vaccine doses in the midst of a national shortage.

A spokesperson for the Ocean County Health Department says thousands of pediatric flu shots will have to be destroyed because their shelf life has expired. The doses were ordered before the national shortage from a company called Aventis. Chiron, not Aventis, had their factory in England closed due to contamination concerns.

Experts say two pediatric doses could be used to vaccinate an adult. However, the state would have to give the green light in order for adults to receive the childrens doses. They could still choose to have the shots in question go to seniors and high-risk patients.

Several New Jersey residents and some health officials believe it is wasteful to destroy the vaccine doses at a time when the state needs them most.

Related links: NJ Department of Health and Senior Services Ocean County Health Department

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