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Sanofi donates 100 million H1N1 vaccines to WHO

By Michael Krebs     Jun 21, 2009 in Health
As the U.K. government projects that as many as 50 percent of its population may be infected by the H1N1 flu, Sanofi announces a donation of 100 million vaccinations to the World Health Organization.
Sanofi Aventis announced a donation of 100 million vaccinations to the World Health Organization this week, mobilizing in the face of the H1N1 influenza's march across the globe.
“Exceptional times require exceptional responses.” Christopher Vienhacher, Sanofi's CEO said, according to a report in Health News. “We need to act responsibly and we all have to play our part. That is the reason why we intend to donate 100 million doses of influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization to help developing countries face the influenza pandemic.”
Though the flu has been classified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, WHO has not yet advised nations to vaccinate their populations. WHO has confirmed 36,000 H1N1 cases worldwide.
Meanwhile, health authorities in the United Kingdom are alerting the public to the prospect of an infection rate of as much as 50 percent.
"Previous pandemics have seen total illness levels of 25-35 per cent. So our plans are as robust as possible, we have based them on illness rates of 50 per cent, though we do not anticipate it being this high in the current pandemic," said a spokesman for the Department of Health, according to The Independent.
Vaccine manufacturers have finished seasonal flu production for the upcoming northern hemisphere flu season and have begun work on the H1N1 vaccine as needed. There are concerns among health authorities around the world that the re-emergence of the H1N1 virus could be significantly more lethal - repeating the evolutionary behaviors that occurred during the 1917-1918 flu pandemic that killed millions of people globally.
More about H1n1, Sanofi, Vaccine, Influenza, Swine flu
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