Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thousands get flu in Australia, but few require medical care.

Thousands get the flu in Australia, but few require medical care.

Influenza monitoring systems are reporting nearly 8,000 cases, early in the Australia flu season.

Recent flooding and bad weather may be to blame, but it is not clear that this is either the main or sole reason for the high reported numbers. One theory is that there is simply more testing going on, another that fewer people are being vaccinated due to concerns about the safety of the flu shot.

Report in Brisbane Times:

Report on “The Conversation”:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reuters reports potential tripling of flu vaccine production by 2015

Reuters is reporting that the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced 11 new producers of flu vaccine. The manufacturers could potentially provide up to 1.7 billion doses of season flu vaccine by 2015.

According to Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director-general, "what we are continuing to do is to make sure that not only will there be more pandemic vaccine if need be, but also that the sites where these vaccines will be produced will be more diverse geographically and more populations of the world will have earlier access to pandemic vaccine."

"We have to take influenza vaccine as a tool to combat influenza pandemic, not just a tool to maximise profit," said Dr. Pathom Sawanpanyalert, Thailand's chair of the WHO's Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines, the experts group that met. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)