Eleven pharmaceutical manufacturers from developing countries have joined the fight against seasonal influenza which will see the production of vaccines double.
Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Thailand and Vietnam have all been awarded grants to develop their own flu vaccine manufacturing facilities.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is now expecting the production of flu vaccines to reach 1.7 billion doses by 2015.
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Meanwhile, the United Nations Agency has claimed that influenza vaccine production could triple in volume if another global epidemic was to hit, saying the world’s 37 flu vaccine manufacturers could increase doses to 5.4 billion.
This comes after the WHO came under fire during the 2009-2010 outbreak of swine flu for poor vaccine distribution in developing countries.
The WHO’s Assistant Director-General, Marie-Paule Kieny, said: “What we are continuing to do is to make sure that not only will there be more pandemic vaccine if need be, but also that the sites where these vaccines will be produced will be more diverse geographically and more populations of the world will have earlier access to pandemic vaccine.”
She added: “The estimate is by 2015, if all projects that are currently going on get to successful implementation, we would have something around 1.7 billion doses of seasonal vaccine.”