Manufacturers scramble to make new vax

As governments around the world ponder the need for vaccinating their citizens against the swine flu outbreak, manufacturers around the world are rushing ahead with plans to satisfy the demand.

In Hungary Omninvest, the first manufacturer to start supplying bird flu vaccine, says it could start providing swine flu jabs as soon as late summer.

"We can begin producing the vaccine after the appropriate research and trial period, this will take about 8-12 weeks, but we hope to have (production) stated even sooner," said a spokesperson.

Baxter says that its facility in the Czech Republic could be supplying vaccine in a matter of months. But manufacturers may need to advance cautiously. Health advisories are being scaled back as it becomes apparent that the virus may be even less threatening than seasonal flu. And no one wants to see a repeat of earlier vaccination campaigns that raised concerns about untested vaccines with potentially dangerous side effects.

"It's up to the [Food and Drug Administration], and the agency is going to be very conservative about any new vaccine," said Dr. Robert Daum, a specialist at the University of Chicago. "The public will not tolerate safety issues."

- read the story from Reuters
- read the report from the Chicago Tribune

ALSO: Protein Sciences, meanwhile, says that it has struck a deal to operate a vaccine manufacturing facility in Mexico, which may be used to produce swine flu vaccine. Officials, though, are declining to say much about the project. Protein Sciences is waiting for approval of its seasonal flu vaccine made from cell cultures. Report