updated 12/18/2003 3:22:40 PM ET 2003-12-18T20:22:40

The country could face shortages in a popular childhood meningitis vaccine next year because of production problems, federal officials said Thursday.

Prevnar, also known as PCV7, is used to protect children against invasive pneumococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis or blood stream infections.

New Jersey-based drug maker Wyeth Vaccines did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday. The company said in a press release that it will work to ensure that Prevnar is fairly distributed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends a four-dose shot schedule for all children starting at age 2 months, said it won’t change its recommendation while there is still enough vaccine. The CDC said the problem was related production constraints but didn’t elaborate.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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