WHO Says Bird Flu Vaccines Production Is Insufficient
Written by Rupert Kircz| Friday, 06 March 2009| There are 2 comments
The World Health Organisation has released another report concerning the bird flu virus which states that the capacity for production of bird flu vaccines has increased three times since 2007 but nevertheless it could still take as many as four years to meet the global demand for these vaccines if a full on H5N1 bird flu pandemic were to occur. In the "best case scenario" they said at least one and a half years would be needed for enough medication to be produced to vaccinate the whole world.
The head of the World Health Organisation campaign for more vaccine research said that she was concerned that the supply of the medications to treat the bird flu virus would not be able to cope when a pandemic broke out. She said that the production capability for seasonal influenza vaccines was more than sufficient but this did not mean that they would be able to cope if the H5N1 bird flu virus started to mutate into a form which would be easily transferable between humans.
Stephen Gardner for speaking on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline who make the influenza medication Relenza explained that they were not able to get themselves in a position to meet a demand that did not yet exist. He said that GlaxoSmithKline could not get to "vaccine capacity" and then "mothball this capacity" until a time when a full on bird flu pandemic broke out.
The present World Health Organisation guidelines state that nations should have enough of the influenza medication Tamiflu to be able to treat 25 percent of their populations. Tamiflu which is made by the drug company Roche is not actually a bird flu vaccine but merely a treatment which has shown to work effectively in men and women who have contracted the H5N1 virus. It is often given to people who have potentially been exposed to the H5N1 virus as a precaution because the earlier Tamiflu is administered the more effective it is.
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