Director General of World Heath Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan said here on Monday that the production of influenza A(H1N1) vaccine is on track and it will be ideal to produce three billion of them annually.
Speaking after the opening ceremony of the Regional Committee Meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Office, Ms. Chan said that many countries and regions are producing vaccines for the new flu and it would be ideal to have three billion produced in one year.
“The development of vaccine is on track, it will take five to six months after the emergence of the new virus before we can start producing vaccines,” she said, adding that China is the first country to report to the WHO about vaccine production and get their people inoculated.
According to data collected from laboratories worldwide, Ms. Chan said, from April to now, the new virus is still very similar and no mutation was found so far. Therefore, new vaccines produced should be effective in preventing the virus.
Ms. Chan said as the peak flu season comes in winter, a second wave of the A(H1N1) flu outbreak is expected to arise with more reports of new cases. She suggested that medical resources should be focused more on saving patients contracted the new virus so as to reduce the number of severe cases and deaths.
Noting that a total of 190 countries and regions have reported cases of influenza A(H1N1), Ms. Chan said that the majority of them are mild and most patients recovered on their own. However, people belong to the risk group such as those suffering from asthma, heart disease, obesity and pregnant women should pay more attention to the disease.
The WHO meeting running in Hong Kong will last until Friday where Ms. Chan joined health experts from 37 countries and regions to discuss topics including A(H1N1) pandemic, malaria, AIDS and some other ones.