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May 16, 2007

How big is the bird flu vaccine gap?

The squabble about viral isolates originating within the borders of Indonesia notwithstanding, the simple fact is that if there were a pandemic there is only a fraction of the needed productive vaccine capacity necessary globally. What fraction? Good question.

The earth is home to 6 billion people, give or take a few hundred million. And a few hundred million doses is our global vaccine capacity in the event of a pandemic. The annual capacity is estimated around 300 - 400 million, possibly 500 million if pushed. That's annual production. If we had to ramp up a specific pandemic strain from zero, we couldn't produce much in the first wave of two months or so. So how much productive capacity would we need? A lot more than we have, almost for sure, but how much more isn't at all clear.

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Posted by dymaxion at May 16, 2007 09:21 PM

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