More than 50 million people died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919. Its 100th anniversary this flu season serves as a reminder to close flu vaccine supply gaps that may be costing lives now and could cost many more when the next “big one” strikes, researchers say. U.S. flu vaccine distribution logistics could use an update, according to Pinar Keskinocak. The researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology co-led a recent study that compared the current approach with a proposed allocation method calculated to save many more lives in a pandemic. The study’s main recommendation, which applies to resupplying vaccine stocks during a running outbreak, boils down to this: To put a bigger dent in the spread of flu, replenish vaccine stocks in regions where they are being used up and don’t replenish them in areas where vaccines are just sitting on shelves because few people are getting flu shots there. A simple tweak The tweak in the supply chain could also save thousands of lives in a regular annual flu season in the U.S., which can be plenty deadly. Reportedly 80,000 people died in the 2017-18 flu season. For comparison’s sake, murder took about 19,300 lives in 2017… Read full this story
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