Geneva: About 100 developing countries will receive international donations of swine flu vaccines, maybe as soon as November, a World Health Organisation official said Monday."The director general of WHO will approve most likely today a list of countries for the donations," said Marie-Paule Kieny, who heads the WHO`s vaccine research unit.
"We have good news. Although it seems the yields with the latest vaccine viruses provided to the manufacturers... are not as good as with seasonal flu, there has been a marked increase in the yields," she explained."We are reaching a situation where availability of vaccine will be higher than what was feared a few weeks ago."Just two weeks ago, WHO chief Margaret Chan had cut the estimated global production capacity from five billion doses to three billion a year, mainly due to poorer than expected yields from "seed virus" strains used to make the vaccine.Kieny reiterated that just one dose was sufficient to provide immunity and insisted that there was no reason to doubt the safety of the swine flu vaccines approved by regulators or their ingredients.After 100,000 vaccinations in China, just one in 1,000 recipients developed "mild" side-effects such as a pain in the arm after the jab or a bout of fever, according to the WHO.The proportion so far was "actually quite low," said Kieny.The UN health agency had already announced plans to supply developing nations with the vaccines they often cannot afford to buy, and the donations, in recent months.But it has gradually increased the number of countries targeted.The agency`s group of independent experts on immunisation, known as SAGE, is due to hold its regular meeting on October 27 to 29, partly to discuss A(H1N1) vaccinations.Bureau Report
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