This article was reproduced from the HTH Worldwide Healthy Travel Blog.
The H1N1 virus is no longer front page news, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has not classified the current outbreak as a pandemic despite 40 countries collectively reporting over 10,000 cases, including 79 deaths. Most epidemiologists agree that widespread transmission of H1N1 is inevitable, and that a more virulent strain may emerge in the fall. This sobering prediction and the 5 to 6 month lead time to produce a vaccine, beg the question: “Why hasn’t development started?”
The conventional flue may pose more of a global threat than this new strain.
The composition of the H1N1 strain is constantly evolving, premature selection of a strain could render a new vaccine infective.
A swine flue vaccine might not be ready until mid-July, as the virus must be grown in culture. This might mean a vaccine won’t be ready until January 2010.
Mass distribution of a vaccine will not take place until it is clear that the evolving H1N1 virus results in significant morbidity and/or mortality this autumn.