Shortage of children's vaccine should last at least through midyear, CDC says

Thursday, January 3rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ The national shortage of the vaccine that protects children against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough will continue through at least the middle of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The CDC did not estimate when the shortage of DTP might end. It has been in short supply since 2000, when two manufacturers quit making it, leaving Aventis Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline as the only U.S. suppliers.

The shot is typically given to children in a series of five doses _ beginning during the child's first six months and ending at age 4 to 6.

During the shortage, the CDC said, doctors can defer the fourth and, if necessary, fifth doses. The first three doses are more critical because the diseases can strike harder against infants.