There's been a setback on the swine flu front. The crash program to make vaccine against the pandemic strain will produce "substantially less" than the 4.9 billion doses that had been expected by the World Health Organization.
nurse prepares to give a shot.
Swine flu vaccine supply will be tighter than expected. (Tim Sloan/Getty Images)
Even after results from recent clinical tests showed one dose of vaccine should be enough to protect most people, the supply of vaccine will be "inadequate" to shield the world's population from swine flu, a WHO spokesman said today.
The bottom line: weekly production of swine flu will be less than 94 million doses, Reuters reports.
The latest supply crunch stems from production problems of swine flu vaccine and some factories continuing to churn out regular seasonal flu vaccine instead, the Associated Press reports.
Separately, some rich countries agreed to give more swine flu vaccine to developing nations, Bloomberg reports. France and the US just agreed to give 10% of their supplies to poorer countries.
The vaccine divide between wealthy and poor countries is likely to remain stark, however, despite the donations. More than 2 billion people around the world are expected to get sick with swine flu and the majority of the vaccine supply is destined for wealthy countries under contracts with manufacturers.