Flu vaccine uncertainty has doctors placing orders early

The government will not know until at least August if there will be a flu vaccine shortage this year.Hoping to avoid last year's problems, many doctors are placing their orders early, USA Today reports. Earlier this month, Chiron, the company at the center of last year's shortage, lowered its production estimate to 18-26 million doses from an earlier estimate of 25-30 million.  Industry analysts say much hinges on an inspection at Chiron's Liverpool plant scheduled for July. British regulators shut the plant down last year after finding a serious contamination problem. For now, the only companies with FDA approval to sell vaccines in the US are Sanofi-Aventis and Med-Immune.

- see this story from USA Today