Over the last 500 years, there have been, on average, three severe influenza pandemics in each century. The most recent pandemic was declared in 2009. Yet despite much investment in public health and many improvements in vaccine production techniques and know-how, the availability of influenza vaccines during this event was far from adequate. Six months into the pandemic, 534 million doses were available, and after one year that number had risen to 1.3 billion — enough for only 8%and 25%, respectively, of the world population. We were lucky that the pandemic declared in 2009 turned out later to be mild and that just one shot of vaccine was sufficient to protect most people. This is not usually the case during a severe influenza pandemic.
"As countries continue to pre-book pandemic supply, it is more and more likely that the limited vaccines available during the first months of any pandemic during the next few years will be sold out almost completely"
And what does everyone think happened in South Africa during most of 2009 and 2010?
Well, they probably don’t – because not that many of them got sick. But THERE WAS NO VACCINE for the general population until LATE 2010 – when the chances of another round of H1N1pdm 2009 had dissipated due to summer coming on.
And the vaccine that HAD come into the the country in 2010 got used for medical personnel, and – for the 2010 World Cup staff.
Seriously, we need to do better than this – and responding QUICKLY to news of a pandemic would be the ticket.
Using plants B-)