May 08, 2009

Mass production of H1N1 Influenza vaccine may get WHO nod

Mass production of a vaccine against the deadly H1N1 swine flu virus — between one and two billion doses — could be given the go-ahead by the World Health Organisation next week.

An expert committee is meeting in Geneva on May 14 to finalise whether it is time for drug makers to switch from seasonal vaccine production to pandemic flu production.

Following this, another meeting at the highest level, among WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and heads of all big influenza vaccine manufacturers, will take place on May 19 to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the pandemic vaccine — once it is available — to developing countries.

It is expected to take four to six months for the first lot of the H1N1 flu vaccines to become available between the time the strain of the virus is identified and the first doses are made available to the general public.

CDC Atlanta has already isolated a sample of the virus and grown what’s called a seed stock — a strain of the virus that’s the first step towards growing a vaccine.

Marie Paule Kieny, WHO’s director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research, said on May 6 that the seed would be available to the manufacturers by the second half of May.

Link: Original Article

1 comment:

Cosmos said...

As at present no vaccine is available in India for this Influenza, this info about the steps towards the manufacture of the vaccine is heartening: even if the Flu strikes in, in the winter we can counter it with the vaccine made available then. Thanks for the news!



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