There will be less H1N1 vaccines than expected

The World Health Organization (WHO) had predicted that companies would have the capacity to produce 5,000 million doses per year.

Ensuring that poor countries receive adequate doses of flu vaccine will also be a challenge because wealthier nations have already booked most of the world’s supply, said the UN agency. However, initial results of clinical studies show that healthy adults and older children need just one dose of vaccine instead of two as some experts had estimated, said WHO.

A group of nine countries (United States, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) agreed to donate part of their supply of vaccines to developing nations.

WHO will coordinate the distribution of the donated vaccines to more than 90 countries, starting with about 300 million doses in November. WHO continues to recommend that health workers receive high priority in early vaccinations.

The vaccine trials so far indicate that it would be as safe as a vaccine against seasonal influenza. According to WHO, side effects are expected to be similar to those seen with the seasonal flu vaccine. These symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and should not last more than one or two days.

More information will be posted briefly.

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