Monday, October 12, 2009

Low- and Middle-Income Nations to Receive Pandemic H1N1 Vaccine as Early as November

From today's BBC News:
"The WHO has long stressed the need for developing countries to get access to some doses of the vaccine if the global campaign against the virus is to be effective.

On Monday the WHO's head of vaccine research, Marie-Paule Kieny, told journalists in Geneva that about 100 low- and middle-income countries would receive donated vaccines.

'We are trying to have a first delivery starting in November,' she said.

'The idea is to start with northern hemisphere countries first,' she added - as winter is approaching in this hemisphere.

Dr Kieny said health workers should be among those being prioritised to receive swine flu vaccinations in the recipient countries.

She said data showed that one dose of the vaccine was likely to provide sufficient protection.
More needed

Sanofi-Adventis and GlaxoSmithKline are donating about 150 million doses of the vaccine, with an unspecified amount coming from a third company, Medimmune.

The US is thought to be among nine or 10 rich countries which have also pledged to donate a proportion of their vaccines to developing nations - though the WHO says more doses are needed.

However, the WHO says that vaccines are not the only weapon in the fight against swine flu.

It says other measures, such as school closure, avoidance of large gatherings, antibiotics and personal hygiene are also needed."

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