H1N1 Vaccine: To Have and To Share
Swine flu anxiety got you down? Well you can chin up a little as the FDA approved its first batches of swine flu vaccines developed by four pharmaceutical companies, ensuring that there will be enough to reach Americans who seek H1N1 vaccine protection.
The U.S. has put in an order for 195 million doses of H1N1 vaccine which is projected to be enough for the country's 300 million-strong population. Though the numbers don't seem to add up, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that millions of flu vaccines are discarded on an annual basis after flu season. Since the H1N1 vaccine is not mandatory for all people, the CDC is confident that the doses ordered will fulfill the nation's needs.
And if the humanitarian in you has been concerned about the 80% of the world's 7 billion person population who reside in the developing world, you may find relief in the recent efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and developed countries to allocate surplus vaccines to their developing counterparts.
The U.S.--along with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and Great Britain--has agreed to pass on 10% of its H1N1 vaccine to countries that would otherwise not have access to it.
Before the flu season finds your personal IP address, you should consider whether or not you will seek the H1N1 vaccine. And then be on the lookout for the vaccine's availability sometime in October.