Vaccine for Type A, H1N1 Planned
About that vaccine, WHO announced at the May 1st press update that they were most likely going to proceed with a vaccine for the new type A, H1N1 virus. The seasonal flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere for the fall is currently being produced. They will continue with that process. Meanwhile, CDC is producing the seed strain for the new vaccine that will be distributed to vaccine manufacturers across the globe. They will have to test in ferrets, and have human trials. They expect all of this to take 4 to 6 months minimum. Manufacturers will donate vaccine to WHO for distribution to poor countries also. I believe that is part of the deal for receiving the seed strain from CDC.
Dr. Marie-Paul Kieny of WHO's Initiative for Vaccine Research did an excellent job answering questions. I have come away from every WHO press conference very much impressed with how directly they answer questions over there. Very little turfing of questions unlike CDC has been doing.
Not to knock the CDC too much though as not only are they providing the vaccine seed strain, they have also developed the primers for the flu test kits for the US and also some other countries as well.
The update lasted about one hour and a transcript will be available probably by tomorrow.