Expecting rising demand for flu shots, pharmaceutical companies are gearing up to produce as many as 120 million doses of vaccine for next flu season.

That far surpasses the record of 95 million doses produced in 2002.

Vaccine makers say their expectation seems warranted for a number of reasons, including public fears of avian flu, better government reimbursement for shots and indications that federal health officials may one day recommend flu shots for nearly everyone.

"We and other manufacturers are making the investments to insure that there will be sustainable supplies going forward," said Andrew MacKnight, executive director of vaccine supply for GlaxoSmithKline, speaking at a flu vaccine summit meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday.