Issue Brief

No. 785

U.S. Childhood Vaccine Availability: Legal, Regulatory, and Economic Complexities
November 15, 2002

Author

Robin J. Strongin, Consultant

Summary

Despite the vital role they play in public health, childhood vaccines travel a complicated road from laboratory to provider and patient. From the fall of 2000 until well into 2002, a combination of factors, including market dynamics, legal challenges, and regulatory hurdles, led to a shortage of some childhood vaccines. This paper examines each of these factors, focusing on the important roles of both the public and the private sectors.

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