UK ordering up new flu vax stockpile

Health ministers in the UK say that they aren't waiting to see if the WHO will declare a level six pandemic alert. They're ready to order enough swine flu vaccine for the entire population.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that she's already in discussions with manufacturers to ink contracts for delivery--once a new vaccine is ready. Advance pandemic vaccine supply contracts are already in place, but are triggered only after the WHO declares a Phase 6 pandemic. But there are also concerns that once that stage is reached, the global scramble for a new vaccine would quickly outstrip manufacturers' ability to supply it.

"We do know that if we simply wait until then we risk losing the capacity manufacturers have available now which would allow us to build up a stockpile and get a vaccination program under way before the winter," said Sturgeon. "I can therefore advise parliament that I have decided, in discussion with the health ministers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to secure and purchase early supplies of vaccine."

- read the story from the BBC

ALSO: India as well says that it will start manufacturing mass quantities of a new vaccine once they have the seed stock in hand. Report