(KMSP Fox 9)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following reports that a new, highly-recommended shingles vaccine is in short supply, Sen. Amy Klobuchar requested the Food and Drug Administratio address the shortage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that most Amreicans over the age of 60 be vaccinated to prevent shingles, but the leading manufacturer of the vaccine announced on Wednesday that many orders won’t be filled until April.
Officials said a limited supply of the virus varicella -- which is used to make the vaccine -- is causing the shortage.
Singles is a painful and potentially serious ailment that will afflict nearly one third of the United States population, but the vaccine can reduce the risk of getting shingles by 55 percent, according to the CDC.
Earlier this week, Klobuchar introduced a bill -- dubbed the Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act -- with Sen. Bob Casey that would give the FDA the ability to require early notification from pharmaceutical companies whenever a factor arises that may result in a drug shortage.
Currently, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists lists 150 “medically necessary” drugs that are in short supply -- double the number from five years ago.