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What Delays Production of Swine Flu Vaccine?

People around the globe are confused as to why the World Health Organization (WHO) has delayed the swine flu vaccine. The answer can be found here.

Where is the vaccine made?
The WHO is making the vaccine for H1N1 swine flu virus. The vaccine is made at the WHO collaborating centers. Then the process is continued at the different labs of vaccine manufacturers, and then the process is continued at the approving organizations.

Steps in making the vaccine at WHO assisted centers:
The primary steps in making the vaccine at WHO assisted centers are:

  • Spotting the new virus
  • Set up the vaccine strain or virus
  • Confirmation of vaccine virus
  • Setting up the reagents to experiment the vaccine

Spotting the new virus: Discovering the new strain of the virus is the first step in the vaccine manufacturing process. The virus is identified, and the centers inform the WHO.

Set up the vaccine strain or virus: In this stage, the virus is combined with a laboratory virus and permitted to grow to form a hybrid one. At least three weeks is required to make a hybrid virus.

Confirmation of vaccine virus: This is the third step. In this stage, the hybrid vaccine is checked to make sure that it will release proteins against the pandemic virus. This process will take a minimum of three weeks. Then it is allocated to different vaccine production houses.

Setting up the reagents to experiment the vaccine: In this stage, the vaccine makers are instructed to quantify how much of the virus they are going to make. They also make sure that the dose of vaccine that is being packaged is correct.

Procedures at the vaccine manufacturers
The primary procedures at the vaccine manufacturer’s lab include five steps. They are:

Optimizing virus growth: The vaccine makers will test the hybrid vaccine which they got from WHO under diverse circumstances. This process needs a minimum of three weeks.

Producing the vaccine in large quantity: The vaccine is produced in large quantities at this stage, which may take nine to twelve days. The vaccine is injected into eggs, and they are kept in incubators for two to three days. After this more and more sets of viruses are constructed. Constructing each set of viruses will take nearly two weeks.

Quality check: The supreme check of quality is done over a period of two weeks.

Vaccine dispatch: In this stage the required amount of vaccine is produced by diluting the vaccine. The vaccine is tested in animals. This will take another two weeks.

Clinical confirmation: A few countries check the vaccine in a small number of people to ensure the best results. This process might take nearly four weeks.

Approval of the drug authorities
The most important part in the process is to get the approval of the drug regulatory authorities. They might conduct a clinical confirmation, which might take two days.

In short, the whole process is time consuming and takes five or six months to reach the end users.

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