Baxter could have pandemic flu vaccine in July

by Lesley Politi on June 15, 2009

This is a very well needed vaccine, hopefully it will come out sooner then next month. I wonder how much of the vaccine will be around for people? Will it be young children and elderly first?

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Baxter International Inc said on Friday that it is in full-scale production of an A/H1N1 flu pandemic vaccine that could be ready for commercial use next month.

The news comes a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a pandemic and cautioned governments to prepare for a long-term battle against the new virus.

Baxter said it received an A/H1N1 strain from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May and has been working to develop a pandemic vaccine for use as early as July.

A number of national public health authorities have agreements with Baxter that allow them to place orders for a vaccine now that a pandemic has been declared by WHO, Baxter said.

Baxter said it would also work with WHO to allocate a portion of the company’s commercial vaccine production to address global public health issues deemed most urgent.

The company, which said it has completed testing and evaluation of the virus, is developing the vaccine using cell technology. Traditional flu vaccines are made using chicken eggs and typically take some six months to produce.

Baxter said it believes its Vero cell technology will allow for much more rapid production and delivery of pandemic flu vaccine.

The company plans to submit the A/H1N1 vaccine for approval upon completion of initial manufacturing runs.

A/H1N1 flu strain was first discovered in Mexico and has rapidly spread. There have been 28,774 confirmed cases of the virus in 74 countries with 144 deaths, according to WHO’s latest tally of laboratory-confirmed cases. It is believed that tests have turned up only a fraction of the true number of cases of the virus.

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Approval is the keyword here. We needed this vaccine a month ago. More lives are taken and being effected, its very sad to hear.

Source: www.reuters.com

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