WHO Stresses Lack of Capacity for Pandemic Flu Vaccine

February 22, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Geneva, Switzerland (Feb. 16)-During a two-day meeting, the World Health Organzation announced ?encouraging progress? in the development of a pandemic influenza vaccine but admitted that the industry still ?lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet potential pandemic influenza vaccine demand.?

Geneva, Switzerland (Feb. 16)-During a two-day meeting, the World Health Organzation (WHO, www.who.int/en) announced “encouraging progress” in the development of a pandemic influenza vaccine. Nonetheless, with a current capacity estimated at less than 400 million doses per year of the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine, WHO emphasized that the industry still “lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet potential pandemic influenza vaccine demand.”

Currently, 16 manufacturers from 10 countries are advancing prototype vaccines against the H5N1 virus, and more than 40 clinical trials have been completed or ongoing.

More than 100 influeza vaccine experts attended the meeting, reviewing information on more than 20 projects involved in H5N1 vaccine development.

As part of its 2006 global influenza action plan, supported by a $10-billion funding by the United States, WHO is working with several vaccine producers to establish vaccine production facilities in developing countries.