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What's Behind Vaccine Shortages?

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Publication Date: April 2009

Publisher(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Author(s): Matt Baumann

Funder(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Funder(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Topic: Health (Preventive health services)
Health (Health services administration)
Health (Health services for children)

Keywords: immunization; health care; shortage; vaccine

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

Since their introduction, vaccines have served as a cornerstone of public health in the United States and
abroad. Vaccinating large numbers of people, especially children, has proven to be one of the most cost-effective options for enhancing and preserving life. But the vaccine industry itself is at high risk for failure, with shortages becoming more and more frequent. What has led to this fragile supply within the vaccine industry? It is a combination of challenging economic conditions for manufacturers and actions by the federal government which have distorted the market.