Feds Scrutinize Flu Shot Shortage

At Springhouse Manor assisted living in Maryland, residents are still waiting for flu shots.

Nearby, the head of Maplewood Park Place went on a virtual scavenger hunt to find enough flu shots for residents.

Ann Golightly, an administrator at Maplewood, told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson that meanwhile, health workers are going without.

"We probably have 50 staff members who would choose to have flu [vaccination] if they could, and have not," Golightly said.

With flu spreading throughout the country, Congress released new documents showing the Food and Drug Administration rejected its own experts' advice on Chiron's troubled British plant. FDA inspectors wanted to force Chiron to fix serious contamination problems first exposed last year. Instead, FDA let Chiron operate under a voluntary fix-it plan, then relied on Chiron's assurances it had solved its problems.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, conducted oversight by conference call, trusting a stream of false assurances by Chiron that the plant had no serious problems.

British, not U.S. health officials, caught the contaminated vaccine last month. Millions of doses had already been shipped to the U.S. Only then did FDA officials reject the vaccine. Now they insist there's nothing more they could've done.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD, asked Acting FDA commissioner Lester Crawford in a hearing: "Excuse me. Are you telling us that the FDA made no mistakes?"

"Yeah," Crawford said.

"No, it never got on the market," Cummings replied. "You know we got a major problem here! The reason why I ask you these questions is that we cannot deal with the problem if we cannot accept the fact that we have one, that we made mistakes."

Crawford's response was, "We're working to get more vaccine."

The Center for Disease Control had hoped to inoculate 100 million people this year. Right now, it thinks it'll be able to squeeze out 58 million doses. And the news doesn't seem to get better. Chiron's CEO told Congress there's no guarantee his company will be up and running for next year's flu season.