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Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.

  • The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
  • The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
  • For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.


About the Central Vaccine Recovery Program

August 17, 2010 2:00 PM ET

What is the Central Vaccine Recovery Program?

The Central Vaccine Recovery Program is a federally-coordinated program to recover unused and expired 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine from those providers who signed a Provider Agreement to administer 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Because states vary in their regulatory requirements for return of expired vaccines, the program is tailored to the regulatory requirements for each state. Participation in the program is voluntary and there is no direct cost to providers to return unused and expired vaccine directly through the Central Vaccine Recovery Program. Recovery of unused influenza vaccine happens every year, usually by vaccine manufacturers; because 2009 H1N1 vaccine was supplied by the federal government, recovery of this vaccine is being conducted by the federal government.

When will the 2009 H1N1 vaccines expire?

All 2009 H1N1 vaccine monovalent vaccine manufactured in 2009 and distributed in the United States will expire by September 15, 2010, regardless of the date on the label. For more information on the recent change in expiration date for the Sanofi Pasteur multidose vials, please download this Q and A.

Can 2009 H1N1 vaccine be returned in the same way that vaccine provided through the Vaccine for Children program is returned?

No, 2009 H1N1 vaccine can only be returned using the Central Vaccine Recovery Program.

Which vaccines should be returned?

All 2009 H1N1 vaccines should be returned. Past guidance asked that providers keep 2009 H1N1 Sanofi Pasteur multidose vials until the second phase of the recovery program was launched. Given the shortened expiry date of the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine, the second phase of the program is now being launched. Providers can expect to receive additional mailing labels (or information to arrange for vaccine pick up, depending on state regulations) in September.

Can ancillary supplies be returned through this program?

Ancillary supplies cannot be returned through this program.

What information has been sent to providers?

Immunization programs have sent their providers that administered 2009 H1N1 vaccine a letter from CDC  describing the program as well as a letter from the Immunization Program providing logistical information. In addition, providers have been sent a quick reference sheet which summarizes important details for vaccine returns. In addition, providers can find state-specific information at

Who should providers contact if they have questions about the program?

Providers should contact their state immunization program or the HHS Supply Service Center (1-800-642-0263, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm EST).


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