In the global fight against seasonal influenza, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that vaccine production will double by 2015. 11 manufacturers in various developing countries will increase production to 1.7 billion doses within the next three and a half years.
In the first review of its Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines (GAP), WHO's key objectives were to increase vaccine production capacity alongside promoting seasonal vaccine use as well as further research and developing into using new technology.
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Global seasonal influenza vaccine production has increased from less than 500 million doses per year in 2006 to nearly 1 billion by the end of 2010. In its next objective, WHO has enlisted the help of 11 developing countries including Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Thailand and Vietnam to establish in-country manufacturing capacity.
WHO’s medium and long term goal is to 'produce enough vaccine to immunize the world's population in 6 months after transfer of the vaccine prototype strain to vaccine manufacturers.'
Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General, WHO said: “What we are continuing to do is to make sure that not only will there be more pandemic vaccine if need be, but also that the sites where these vaccines will be produced will be more diverse geographically and more populations of the world will have earlier access to pandemic vaccine.”