H1N1 flu shot maker questioned

November 12, 2009 1:53:03 PM PST
There has been major criticism on how the H1N1 vaccine is being made, how much is being produced and why it's taking so long to get. The only U.S. company making the vaccine is now answering questions.

In Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, officials with pharmaceutical company Sanofi defended the speed at which the swine flu vaccine is being produced. They claim, despite reports of delays, the production of the H1N1 vaccine is right on schedule.

The company also says on top of the 75 million doses of the swine flu vaccine, they are also responsible for 50 million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine.

Only one vaccine can be produced at a time and it takes months to create, produce, test and package.

"When this came about, we were actually in the middle of our seasonal flu campaign," said Chris Viehbacher, Sanofi Aventis CEO. "That takes roughly eight months. So we start in January and normally finish in September. H1N1 came along in April, and so we have had to piggyback if you like to production of H1N1 and juggle it around with seasonal flu."

Sanofi officials also announced the final safety study results for the swine flu vaccine. They report no deaths or serious side effects were discovered in their two clinical trials.


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