Opportunities for Creating a New Swine Flu Vaccine

| 01 October 2009

Since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic for the first time in 41 years due to the spread of swine flu (also called H1N1 due to the strains of the two surface proteins it carries), there has been a race to create a vaccine. There are reasons to be concerned; in the four months since initial reports from Mexico, swine flu has spread to 170 countries and led to about 1,800 deaths and almost 200,000 confirmed infections. It has prompted serious emergency preparedness measures all over the world, including several school closings in India, travel restrictions in China, special processes to rapidly approve a vaccine in Europe, declaration of a public health emergency by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) secretary, and orders from practically every government for millions of doses of still-to-be-prepared vaccine to inoculate as many people as possible. The first vaccine for the H1N1 virus is expected to be available by mid-October in the US, some parts of Europe, Australia, Taiwan, China, Mexico and Canada.


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