The US may not have as many H1N1 flu vaccines available from the get-go as originally anticipated, CBS News reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, approximately 45 million doses will be available in mid-October—that’s down from the original plan of 120 million doses. The new plan calls for an additional 20 million doses to be distributed each week after the first batch of vaccines are given.
GlaxoSmithKline announced last Friday that it had begun development for the new vaccine, and that it had locked up enrollment for the first clinical study.
“GSK is making good progress with the development of its pandemic vaccine.” Enrollment into the first study has been completed, and in total GSK will conduct 16 clinical trials of its pandemic vaccine in over 9,000 individuals across Europe, Canada, and the US,” stated Thomas Breuer, head of Global Clinical R&D and chief medical officer of GSK Biologicals. “We continue to work closely with regulators and governments to assess and develop this vaccine.”
Medimmune has also started clinical trials on its H1N1 vaccine, and told the Washington Business Journal that it expects to manufacturer far more vaccines than the 12.8 million doses the government asked it to produce.
Meanwhile, Novartis has already begun shipping its seasonal influenza vaccine to get that out of the way before the second wave of the H1N1 flu hits.
“With the (A) H1N1 influenza pandemic underway, it is important that we take every possible precaution to help protect US citizens from all circulating strains of influenza,” stated Andrin Oswald, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, in a release. “By receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine early, physicians and public health officials can better prepare for the upcoming flu season.”