Surplus Flu Vaccine Will Be Discarded

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) — U.S. officials say it is inevitable that a large amount of unused H1N1 vaccine will have to be thrown out once it has expired.

The Centers for Disease Control said it was better to have too much vaccine on hand then not enough.

“We didn’t want to be short,” Anne Schuchat of the CDC told The Washington Post. “It was important to us to be able to protect the American people.”

The Post said Thursday that more than 71 million doses could be tossed out if they are not used in the near future.

Between 81 million and 91 million doses were used as of the end of February, leaving 138 unused doses, the Post said. Of the surplus, around 60 million will be donated to poor countries or stored for future use.

Officials caution that yet another wave of the flu could develop in the coming months and that would likely reduce the surplus.

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