Monday, January 11, 2010

Update: WHO 2009 H1N1 Vaccine Deployment

As of December 2009, WHO had received pledges of nearly 190 million doses of vaccine, 75 million syringes and US$70 million for vaccine deployment to developing countries.

WHO and partners are assisting 95 countries to receive and use vaccines, with an immediate focus on a first group of 35 countries. Before countries receive donated vaccines, they complete three steps: 1) make a request to receive donated vaccines, 2) sign an agreement accepting the terms and conditions of support and 3) develop a national pandemic vaccine deployment plan.

Current situation
1. All of the first 35 countries have requested vaccine donations.
2. 23 have signed agreements with WHO.
3. 6 have finalized National Deployment Plans.

WHO has completed 9 training workshops in all regions to help countries produce sound national deployment plans and prepare to receive and manage pandemic influenza H1N1 vaccines.

WHO with partners has placed orders for vaccines for Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Mongolia. The agency has also begun to transport ancillary products to several other countries.

There have been reports in the media that the vaccines are making it to these countries only now that the number of cases has dropped. It is important to note that even though at the moment it may seem that flu activity is decreasing, past pandemics have shown that we can reasonably predict that there will be the occurrence of another wave of the virus. The virus still poses a great threat to the public health of individuals, and it is therefore very important that everyone who has access to the vaccine gets vaccinated.

Some ministries of health, including the U.S. and the U.K., are dealing with an oversupply of the vaccine due to low demand in their countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland are also among countries that are negotiating shipping excess vaccine to countries that are still facing shortages.


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