© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Temporary Shortage of Child Vaccine Nationwide

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Sanofi Pasteur


Connecticut requires almost a dozen immunizations by the time a child enters school.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports there's a temporary shortage of one particular vaccine.

The vaccine is called Pentacel and it's a combination vaccine that protects children from several different diseases.

Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Meningitis. Four doses are required before a child turns nineteen months old.

But if your child is due for his or her next dose of Pentacel, it may not be available.

"We were notified by the CDC two weeks ago that there's a temporary shortage of Pentacel."

That's Mick Bolduc, Coordinator of Vaccines for Children at the state Department of Public Health. When the CDC issues an alert due to a manufacturing shortage, the health department notifies more than six-hundred providers who order the vaccine through the state. The state then sends the orders to the national distributor for the east coast, McKesson, which ships the vaccine directly to a doctor's office.

Parents won't find out about the shortage until they bring their child to his or her scheduled appointment. Bolduc says there is an alternative to Pentacel.

"They can ask for the single vaccines. So there's a separate vaccine for Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. A separate vaccine for polio and a separate vaccine for Hib."

The drawback in asking for separate vaccines is your child will get three different shots instead of one. Parents should also find out if their son or daughter can wait until their next wellness visit to get Pentacel.

But the shortage is expected to last throughout the summer.

Bolduc says the CDC anticipates Pentacel won't be back to a full supply until September.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content