Pharmaceutical companies have pledged to donate 100 million doses to the WHO for distribution in developing countries. On Sunday, it was announced that the Health Ministry was approached by a company over supplying the H1N1 vaccine.
Gebre said countries will have to decide on the number of doses they want based on their epidemiology and population size. He said it was impossible for every single person on earth to be vaccinated and persons in the “risk category” such as health workers may be given priority in the distribution.
Gebre said two vaccines have been approved and production should begin after the seasonal flu period has passed. Although it was “theoretically” possible for the virus to mutate, he said the authorities cannot speculate. He said countries should keep up with their surveillance, systematic testing and share information.
A pharmaceutical manufacturer is reported as being prepared to produce 94 million doses/mth.
Since the announcement of the pandemic, pharmaceutical companies have been working to have a product ready for market. Swiss company Norvartis AG announced three weeks ago that it had successfully produced the first batch of vaccine and it would be used for pre-clinical evaluation and testing. Last week French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis announced that large- scale production had started.
President of the TT Medical Association Dr Soliman Juman said although the Health Ministry had received an offer it was still too early to comment on the local situation. 1