ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH NOVARTIS TO PROVIDE CT VNA FULL SUPPLY OF SEASONAL FLU VACCINE AND DOUBLE DOSES TO NATIONAL VNA
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc. has reversed itself and agreed to provide Connecticutâ€™s Visiting Nurse Associations (VNA) with their full requested supply of seasonal flu vaccine, as well as double the doses it will supply VNAs nationwide.
Novartis, a leading vaccine maker, initially told the Connecticut VNA that it would receive almost 30 percent fewer doses than it ordered. The shortfall would have left state VNAs short about 6,000 doses, forcing them to cancel flu shot clinics and jeopardizing vaccination of healthcare workers.
The settlement negotiated by Blumenthalâ€™s office also doubled the vaccine that VNAs nationally will receive from Novartis from 100,000 to 200,000 doses.
Blumenthal said, â€œThis step will literally save lives. This victory for public health restores the Connecticut VNAâ€™s requested supply of flu vaccine, vital to protecting people who are vulnerable or needy or homebound, as well as health workers. I am proud that we have helped the national VNA by doubling its supply of seasonal flu vaccine from Novartis.
â€œI commend Novartis for meeting its obligations to the Connecticut VNA and providing sufficient life-saving protections. Our investigation is closed, and we have found no violations of law. We are grateful for Novartisâ€™ cooperation in the public interest.
â€œThe seasonal flu is potentially deadly for VNA clients — a virulent virus that can sicken and kill. This agreement means fewer will be stricken, saving huge costs in dollars, as well as suffering and even death.
â€œThe VNAs are a vital link in public health efforts to combat the flu. In Connecticut, as elsewhere, VNAs are the primary provider of vaccines to the elderly homebound population, which is most vulnerable to severe illness and death from the seasonal flu. VNAs are also a main supplier of seasonal flu vaccines to state emergency medical responders and healthcare workers.
â€œWe have been assured that we can provide these additional vaccine supplies to the VNA without sacrifice of shots to schools, health clinics and other public health efforts to combat the seasonal flu,â€ Blumenthal said.
Connecticut VNA CEO Ellen D. Rothberg said, â€œAttorney General Blumenthal and his staff acted swiftly on behalf of the stateâ€™s most vulnerable homebound and frail elderly to ensure they received this vital service. Because of the attorney general, elderly and vulnerable citizens, served by VNAs across the country, are going to be getting their flu shots. We canâ€™t thank him enough.â€
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