Public health officials have encouraged everyone to get a flu shot to protect themselves. Early CDC data suggest that the flu shot is roughly 60 percent effective. That means that a sizable number of people who have received the shot may still be vulnerable to influenza symptoms. Young children are especially susceptible to complications from the flu. The medication of choice in such cases is an antivral drug called Tamiflu.
Unfortunately, there are limited supplies of the liquid formulation used to treat children. Both in the U.S. and Canada pharmacies are reporting shortages. The company that makes Tamiflu is suggesting that in an emergency, pharmacists can use the capsules to compound liquid medication for kids. Now that the FDA has approved the use of Tamiflu for babies under a year of age, the increased demand has put a strain on the supply chain.