Journal of Community Health

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 283–297 | Cite as

Local Health Department Responses During The 2004–2005 Influenza Vaccine Shortage

  • James Ransom
  • Zarnaaz Bashir
  • Cynthia Phillips


During the 2004–2005 influenza vaccine shortage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coordinated distribution of post-October 5th 2004 doses of influenza vaccine to state and local health departments (LHDs), who subsequently distributed vaccine to community providers. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) conducted three Web-based surveys throughout the 2004–2005 influenza season to assess in real-time how LHDs were 1) dealing with the vaccine shortage, 2) implementing the interim recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and 3) making efforts to reallocate and redistribute doses of influenza vaccine toward high-priority populations within their communities. This paper highlights LHD responses that alleviated adverse impacts during this public health emergency. The first survey asked LHDs to quantify their community’s vaccine supply; the second survey asked them to describe their specific responses to the crisis; and the third survey asked them to reflect and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts to vaccinate high-priority groups during the crisis. Six hundred five (605) of 717 (84%) LHDs in 44 states responded to the three surveys. Results show that LHDs leveraged preparedness plans, formed strategic community partnerships, and practiced vaccination drills to address the problems of vaccinating high-priority and hard-to-reach populations that arose out of the vaccine shortage. The practices used by LHDs during this shortage may provide valuable response lessons to minimize the impact of future influenza vaccine shortages and other public health emergencies.


Local health department Influenza vaccine Shortage Preparedness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Ransom
    • 1
  • Zarnaaz Bashir
    • 2
  • Cynthia Phillips
    • 3
  1. 1.Research & Evaluation TeamNational Association of County and City Health OfficialsWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Public Health Preparedness TeamNational Association of County and City Health OfficialsWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Community Health TeamNational Association of County and City Health OfficialsWashingtonUSA

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