27 Apr 2012

Airline stops free Micronesia vaccine shipments

12:26 pm on 27 April 2012

Countries in Micronesia will miss out on free shipments of flu vaccines this year, after United Airlines announced it would end the practice.

The US Defence Department works with health departments in Guam, the CNMI, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and American Samoa to identify whether they would benefit from additional flu vaccine.

Our correspondent in Saipan, Mark Rabago, says the Center for Disease Control sends these islands vaccines each year, and each year most of the islands are still short.

He says the practice was started in 2007 by Continental Airlines.

"United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged and now they are one entity. They said that it's just not economically...it's not part of their business plan anymore to continue that kind of setup. It's not the end of the shipments of vaccines here. There were 330 doses that were received by the CNMI just this year."

Mark Rabago