Geneva (AP):- Drug manufacturers won’t be able to start making a swine flu vaccine until mid-July at the earliest, weeks later than previous predictions, the World Health Organization said today. It will then take months to produce a new vaccine.
The disclosure that making a swine flu vaccine is proving more difficult than experts first thought came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and WHO chief Margaret Chan met today with representatives from about 30 pharmaceutical companies to discuss the subject.
After the meeting, Ban declared that solidarity was the key to resolving the swine flu outbreak, urging governments to make sure all countries have access to drugs and vaccines. He also said virus samples and flu data must be shared and “ self-defeating ” measures like trade and travel bans should be avoided.
“We do not yet know how far and how fast it will spread, how serious the illness will be and, indeed, how many lives will be lost,” Ban told WHO’s annual assembly in Geneva.
“ Global solidarity must be at the heart of the world’s response. (It) must mean that all have access to drugs and vaccines ” he said.
Health officials from around the world are meeting here this week to discuss the outbreak that has infected 9,830 people in over 40 countries, killing at least 79 of them.