- Summary Objectives The aim of this study was to apply SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to a domestic shortage of influenza vaccine, to identify lessons learned, and to generate effective solutions for future public health rationing emergencies. Study design/methods SWOT and TOWS techniques were employed to characterize the vulnerability of the USA to disruptions in the supply of influenza vaccine. A group of five researchers reviewed relevant literature, engaged in group brainstorming, and categorized elements according to the SWOT framework. Results Three strengths, five weaknesses, five threats and seven opportunities were identified in the areas of vaccine production, purchasing and distribution, and provision. Four future recommendations emerged with respect to government investment, communications, sanctioning of physicians, and incident command. Conclusions Application of the SWOT technique is highly relevant to the health policy realm and can assist public health planners in planning for future resource scarcity.