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Flu Vaccination Prices Double

October 03, 2001
By: Sofia Chaava
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Flu vaccination prices are going to cost more than double this year, according to the state Health Department.

The price increase was initiated by the vaccine providers, said Vic Tomlinson at Missouri Health Department.

The major provider of vaccines for Missouri health companies is Aventis Pasteur, and the overall prices for flu vaccines in the state are dependent on this supplier.

Another manufacturer that could supply Missouri is Wyeth.

Wyeth has not substantially increased its price, but it produces a small proportion of the available vaccine and usually delivers them late, according to the department.

Aventis Pasteur supplies more than a half of the flu vaccination market nationwide. The public affairs director at Aventis, Lenn Lavenda, said that the company had to increase the prices because of the major changes within the company.

First, Aventis is investing more money in corporate expansion.

Also the company had to make significant changes this year to meet additional FDA requirements, which required extra funding.

The third reason Lavenda cited for the raising prices was a new shipping policy designed to speed up shipments of the vaccine.

Lavenda said Aventis changed vaccine shipping frequency from one-time to multiple per season to avoid delays.

Cole county health department director, Ivah Braun, said they had to purchase the vaccinations for $4.35 instead of last year's $2.30.