Record amount of flu vaccine expected for next season
Sanofi Pasteur Inc. is planning to manufacture 50 million doses, while Novartis Vaccines is expected to make 40 million, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline PLC aims to make 35 million to 38 million and MedImmune Vaccines Ins could produce about 12 million. CSL Biotherapies will triple its production from 2 million to 6 million doses.
This past season's vaccine was only 44% effective, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists make educated guesses every year as to which strains of influenza will wend their way through the general population, and last season they guessed only one out of three correctly. Health experts are meeting this week in Atlanta to take part in a national influenza vaccine summit, where they will discuss their strategy for the 2008-2009 flu season.
For more information on the summit, go to www.preventinfluenza.org.