WHO: Flu vaccine production will double by 2015

According to the World Health Organization, the world's seasonal flu vaccine production capacity will double by 2015 to 1.7 billion doses. And that production could swell 5.4 billion doses for a pandemic flu outbreak, Reuters says.

"The estimate is by 2015, if all projects that are currently going on get to successful implementation, we would have something around 1.7 billion doses of seasonal vaccine," WHO assistant director-general Marie-Paule Kieny said, according to Reuters. The pandemic vaccine number depends on the growth yield of the virus from the egg as well as the amount of adjuvant used in the doses.

The organization expects there will be 11 new vaccine makers on the scene by 2015, bringing the total to 37. This year, an independent panel criticized the WHO for the slow production and distribution of H1N1 vaccines during 2009 and 2010, but Kieny says future vaccine production will be geographically diverse in order to provide doses quickly to a more widespread population.

- here's the Reuters story
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