U.S. announces plan to expand fight against global H1N1 pandemic
The U.S. government will supply 10 percent of its H1N1 vaccine to other countries, as part of its plan to expand the fight against the global H1N1 pandemic, said the White House on Thursday, Xinhua reported.
"The United States will continue to act aggressively to stop the global spread of the pandemic 2009-H1N1 influenza virus and is prepared to make 10 percent of its H1N1 vaccine supply available to other countries through the World Health Organization (WHO)," it said in a statement.
The U.S. government made the commitment after its Food and Drug Administration officially licensed the 2009-H1N1 influenza vaccine last week.
According to health experts and officials, the vaccine will be available in the coming weeks and one dose, instead of two doses, can be effective in developing immunity in most adults.
"We remain confident that the United States will have sufficient doses of the vaccine to ensure that every American who wants a vaccine is able to receive one," said the statement.
"The United States will make the H1N1 vaccine available to the WHO on a rolling basis as vaccine supplies become available, in order to assist countries that will not otherwise have direct access to the vaccine."
The White House also noted that early priority of supplying the vaccine at home and abroad should be given to pregnant women, health care workers, individuals caring for infants less than 6 months of age, and other high-risk populations.
Since its first wave in April, millions of people have been infected with the H1N1 flu, and thousands of them died.