May 15, 2009

British govt. orders 90M H1N1 vaccines

The British government has ordered 90 million doses of the vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu virus, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The U.N. health organization said the government's vaccine order to drug manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter came after the number of confirmed swine flu cases increased by more than 1,000 during a 24-hour period.

Sky News said the number of confirmed H1N1 cases has reached 7,520 with 65 deaths attributed to the spread of swine flu.

Britain's vaccine order, which may take up to six months to be ready, also comes after WHO officials urged governments worldwide not to take the potentially deadly flu strain lightly.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan also warned despite recent lower swine flu numbers in North America, the threat from the H1N1 virus is still credible.

Sky News said Malaysia and Peru recently recorded their first confirmed cases of the spreading infection while Belgium has joined the ranks of European countries with a confirmed swine flu case.