A systematic analysis of influenza vaccine shortage policies

Lori Uscher-Pines, Daniel J. Barnett, Jason W. Sapsin, David M. Bishai, Ran D. Balicer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to apply SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to a domestic shortage of influenza vaccine, to identify lessons learned, and to generate effective solutions for future public health rationing emergencies. Study design/methods: SWOT and TOWS techniques were employed to characterize the vulnerability of the USA to disruptions in the supply of influenza vaccine. A group of five researchers reviewed relevant literature, engaged in group brainstorming, and categorized elements according to the SWOT framework. Results: Three strengths, five weaknesses, five threats and seven opportunities were identified in the areas of vaccine production, purchasing and distribution, and provision. Four future recommendations emerged with respect to government investment, communications, sanctioning of physicians, and incident command. Conclusions: Application of the SWOT technique is highly relevant to the health policy realm and can assist public health planners in planning for future resource scarcity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Influenza
  • Pandemic
  • Resource scarcity
  • SWOT analysis
  • Vaccine
  • Vaccine shortage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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