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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000333881.45270.97
Article

When the Cat Is Out of the Bag: A Case Study in Public Health Rationing in Oregon During the 2004–2005 Influenza Vaccine Shortage

Skiles, Martha Priedeman MPH; Scott, Kathryn D. DrPH; Young, Collette PhD

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Abstract

Whereas the annual influenza season in the United States is fairly predictable, the influenza vaccine supply is variable, leaving providers vulnerable to supply and demand fluctuations each season. During the 2004–2005 influenza vaccine shortage, Oregon invoked Oregon Revised Statute 433-030 to target vaccine supplies to protect persons at highest risk for complications from influenza. This case study describes Oregon's efforts to ration vaccine at the point of administration by limiting the number of individuals eligible for vaccination. An evaluation of this process found that providers responded positively to the mandatory prioritization of vaccine recipients; however, limitations in assessing and affecting redistribution of privately held vaccine supplies and challenges in enforcement of the plan were revealed.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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