Swine Flu

WHO, Drug Companies Prep Vaccine

Hey, did Big Pharma do something good? “The head of the World Health Organization says major drug companies have agreed on a plan to give poor countries access to a swine flu vaccine and antiviral medications if a worldwide outbreak is declared,” reports the Associated Press. However, the drug companies won’t be able to begin making the vaccine until mid-July at the earliest, which is weeks later than original predictions. From there, it will be several months before the vaccine is made. “Mass producing a pandemic vaccine would be a gamble, as it would take away manufacturing capacity for the seasonal flu vaccine that kills up to 500,000 people each year,” writes the AP. “Some experts have wondered whether the world really needs a vaccine for an illness that so far appears mild.”