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The government shutdown could have an impact on flu vaccines across the country. Meredith Zaritheny has more.
PEARL RIVER, N.Y. -- One local lawmaker says the government shutdown could have an impact on flu vaccines made in the Hudson Valley.
"This has an impact on huge places that are doing important research, such as your wonderful Protein Sciences or the National Institutes of Health doing vital research," said Representative Nita Lowey.
Lowey was at Protein Sciences in Pear River Monday. She says the government shutdown is hurting not only on the economy, but also public health and the production of next year's flu vaccine.
Lowey said, "The longer this drags on, the longer it will take the FDA to review Protein Science's application. It has implications far and wide and there is no reason for it."
Officials with Protein Sciences say the shutdown is affecting their ability to get the Food and Drug Administration's approval for next year’s flu vaccine for people over age of 50.
"The impact relates to the timing of the license, so as long as we move forward, we only have a specific amount of time for us to make the vaccine and to be able to put it in the market. You know, influ is a seasonable vaccine we have to make it every year," said Mireli Fino, VP of Manufacturing for Protein Sciences.
Fino says if Protein Sciences can't get their license from the FDA soon, they're not going to be able to manufacture the vaccine for next flu season. And that could hit everyone at the company.
"Impacts how many people we can hire for the production of that amount of vaccine we need to make, our contractors, which are local contractors," Fino said.
Representative Lowey says she's concerned that if the shutdown doesn't get resolved, it's going to have a serious impact on production of this vaccine and impact one of the age groups that is most at risk for flu.
Lowey said, "So this has to end and so I hope the wiser heads on both sides of the aisle can get together and get this done."
Protein Science officials say it’s not just the FDA approval process that's being impacted right now, it's also their planning and manufacturing of the next years vaccine that's being affected.