Thursday, January 14, 2010

Drop in Demand of H1N1 Vaccine for Developing Countries

With H1N1 pandemic influenza activity waning in many countries, developing countries in line to receive donated H1N1 vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO) may not want as much as the agency has been aiming to provide. WHO hoped to provide enough for 10% of the population of countries that wanted the vaccine, but the agency's Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny said that with the pandemic waning, governments are "considering whether and how much vaccine they want to deploy.

"And it's normal. There is a need for reassessment of what the epidemiology is telling us," Kieny said in an interview from Geneva. "Of course we cannot rule out that there will be another peak. And we don't know exactly what will happen in the Southern Hemisphere when they start (their next winter) also."

"But many countries now have the impression that the peak is over. And so I think then the governments are also themselves considering whether and how much vaccine they want to deploy."

Even with donated vaccine, deployment isn't cheap. Kieny said it's estimated it will cost between US$1 and US$5 a dose. Kieny expressed that now that we are well into winter in the Northern Hemisphere and have seen the trend in several countries, t is the time to reflect and to see how much vaccine will be needed and where, so as not to be wasteful.


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