Policy ForumPUBLIC HEALTH

Rethinking Influenza

Science  02 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5949, pp. 50
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179475

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Summary

Today, we are better prepared to face the H1N1 influenza A 2009 virus than we were for any other previous pandemic. Although the present manufacturing capacity is unlikely to have all the vaccines needed before the peak of the next wave of cases, the potential output of vaccine manufacturing has increased from 400 to 900 million (1). A vaccine will be produced in Europe with modern cell culture technology instead of eggs. A large facility for cell culture production under construction in the United States is expected to improve the current limited production capacity. Although vaccines against avian H5N1 are not highly immunogenic, this shortcoming can be overcome by using adjuvants or reverting to using whole-virus vaccines (25).