Vaccine Shortage Triggers Cuts in Worksite Immunization

October 18, 2004 ( - Almost half of the companies who were expecting to offer flu shots to employees are now cutting such programs due to the flu vaccine shortage, a survey shows.

A survey by, a web-based human resources company, shows that 35% of respondents were planning on offering flu shots, but had to cancel due to the vaccine shortage. The number jumps to nearly one-half, or 48.7%, when factoring out those respondents who stated that their companies were not planning on offering the flu shots in the first place.

Twenty-eight percent stated that they hadn’t planned on offering shots in any event, where 21% said that they still plan to, but that the feasibility of doing so is increasingly uncertain. Seventeen percent said they still plan to provide shots.

The poll, held from Thursday, October 8, to Thursday, October 15, drew a total of 373 votes.

According to editors at’s parent, BLR (, a Connecticut-based publisher, employers can take steps outside of vaccination. They include:

  • Promoting wellness programs in consultation with a health insurance provider.
  • Encouraging proper hygiene at work.
  • Considering the impact of longer hours on workers, and encouraging workers to stay at home if sick.

These suggestions mirror those of other health organizations and health consulting firms, who have been quick to offer advice following the British government’s recent regulatory move to block the production of the flu vaccine by Chiron Corp. (See Flu Shot Shortage Causes Education to Replace Vaccination ).