'100 poorer nations to get donated swine flu vaccine'
About 100 developing countries will receive international donations of swine flu vaccines, maybe as soon as November, a World Health Organisation official said yesterday.
"The director general of WHO will approve most likely today a list of countries for the donations," said Marie-Paule Kieny, who heads the WHO's vaccine research unit.
"The list will include about 100 countries," she told journalists.
"We are trying to have the first deliveries in November."
Dozens of millions of doses are being lined up following offers from pharmaceutical companies as well as a US-led group of rich nations that have pledged to release 10 percent of their vaccine purchases for poor nations.
It will include about 150 million doses from two makers Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as well as an as yet unspecified amount from a third supplier, Medimmune, and the rich nation stocks, Kieny said.
The donations would be directed to low and some middle income countries.
The deliveries should target about two percent of the population there over the next four or five months, beginning with health workers and followed by other vulnerable groups, she added.
Kieny also said global influenza A(H1N1) vaccine production should be higher than feared a few weeks ago, although she did not change the overall annual capacity of about three billion doses estimated by the WHO last month.