Thursday, December 17, 2009

Germany and Spain Seek to Cut H1N1 Vaccine Orders

As reported earlier, the German Ministry of Health has been faced with a situation in which the country has excess vaccine for 2009 H1N1 due to weak demand within the country. Now, in addition to Germany, Spain has expressed a desire to return unused vaccine to the pharmaceutical companies according to a report on the specialist news service APM Health Europe.

A health ministry official in Madrid said Spain expected to either return surplus vaccines to suppliers so they could be sold at pharmacies, or send them to other European Union countries to help with their vaccination programs.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) flu expert Keiji Fukuda said countries with surplus vaccine had "a number of options" including donating it to those who have none, or keeping it in reserve for a later date.

"This is a virus that we don't expect to just suddenly disappear," he told a briefing.

WHO is coordinating efforts to encourage rich countries to share vaccines with poorer nations who had little or no access to supplies. Fukuda said six manufacturers and 12 countries had so far pledged some 180 million doses of vaccines to be distributed to around 95 countries.

Source: Reuters

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