H1N1 vaccine behind, slow production blamed on old technology - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

H1N1 vaccine behind, slow production blamed on old technology

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SWIFTWATER, Pa. (WKOW) -- Health officials say the antiquated process of developing vaccines using millions of chicken eggs is to blame for the slow production of the H1N1 influenza vaccine.

The technology, which dates back 50 years, involves injecting the virus into eggs and allowing it to feed on the egg white nutrients. The process is slow, and pressure on manufacturers to produce vaccines for both swine flu and ordinary flu has made it even slower.

The federal government originally promised 120 million doses of swine flu vaccine by now but only 13 million have come through. (H1N1 vaccine to reach 150 million doses by December - October 21, 2009)

Many states have had to postpone mass vaccinations as clinics become swamped with high demand. Federal health officials are asking for patience and say eventually there should be enough vaccine.

Since April, H1N1 has killed more than 800 people in the U.S.

 

 

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