FierceBiotechFierceBioResearcherFierceVaccinesFiercePharma   FierceHealthcare

Free Newsletter

About | View Sample | Privacy
Related Topics >> pandemic | Vaccine | bird flu

WHO warns of bird flu vaccine shortage

  • Email
  • Print
  • Comment
  • Contact Author
  • Reprint

While the threat of bird flu has largely vanished from the evening news, vaccine experts are acutely aware of the ever-present danger of a human outbreak.

One reason why bird flu fears have abated is that new bird flu vaccines have been approved and are being produced in quantity. But a new WHO-backed study indicates that the quantity that's available is still nowhere near the amount that would be needed to fight a global pandemic. It would take 18 months to manufacture sufficient quantities of bird flu vaccine to combat an outbreak, says the study. And meanwhile vaccine production capacity may be on the verge of being reduced.

"We still don't have enough production capability to cover the whole world in the early months of the pandemic... and what is worrying especially is that the capacity to make seasonal vaccines... is now much larger than the demand for these vaccines," says WHO vaccine expert Marie-Paule Kieny.

The key issue here, he adds, is that global demand for seasonal flu vaccine is 500 million doses a year. But production capacity has zoomed to 800 million doses and is on track to hit 1.7 million doses annually in only five years. As a result, WHO feels that producers may soon cut back on vaccine production, and once facilities are closed they will not be reopened easily.  

- read the story from the AFP

Related Articles:
China stockpiles bird flu vax for possible outbreak
Officials warn of pandemic as public loses interest
Facing state barriers, flu jabs go unused
Seniors need high vaccine dose to prevent the flu
WHO warns of rising bird flu pandemic risk

More stories about Vaccine   bird flu   pandemic  


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

More information about formatting options

To combat spam, please enter the code in the image.