Amid controversy over the supply of flu vaccine this year, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced last week that there are 60 million doses available.
That includes 2.6 million extra doses being made available by pharmaceutical manufacturer Aventis Pasteur for January distribution, Thompson said.
In a press conference held at HHS headquarters in Washington, Thompson advised physicians and hospitals to administer the vaccine only to patients in a "priority cate-gory," including children, the elderly and pregnant women.
Earlier this month, the United Kingdom's regulatory authority temporarily suspended the manufacturing license for the Liverpool plant of Chiron Corp., one of only two manufacturers that produces the vaccine for the U.S. market. The move cut off 46 million to 48 million doses, leaving Aventis Pasteur as the sole U.S. supplier with about 55.4 million doses before last week's announcement.