Although vaccine shortages happen sometimes, they are usually brief and usually only affect one vaccine at a time.
They rarely leave kids unprotected and fortunately don’t lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases – thanks to already high levels of vaccination.
In some cases, shortages have led to temporary changes in the immunization schedule for some vaccines, especially for children who are not high risk for those vaccine-preventable diseases.
Unlike past vaccine shortages, most vaccine shortages these days are limited and don’t result in missed doses.
Past vaccine shortages have included:
- DTaP, MMR, Prevnar, Td and Varivax shortage (2002)
- Prevnar shortages (2001-2004)
- Typhoid vaccine shortage (2005)
- Menactra (2006)
- Hib (2008-2009)
- Hepatitis B vaccine for adults (2009-2011)
- Kinrix (2007) – DTaP-IPV combination vaccine
- ProQuad (2007-2012) – MMR-Varicella combination vaccine
- Adacel (2013) – Tdap vaccine
- Pentacel delay (December 2015 through 2016)
And there have also been flu vaccine shortages and delays in several years.
For more information:
- CDC – Current Vaccine Shortages & Delays
- FDA – Resolved Shortages
- Study – Vaccine Supply Problems: A Perspective of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention