U.S. News

U.S. set to boost seasonal flu vaccine production

A researcher works on a vaccine for H1N1 flu virus at the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia in this May 6, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

GENEVA (Reuters) - Aggressive steps are being pursued to accelerate the production of seasonal flu vaccines, which could be shifted into pandemic flu injections “if that is necessary,” the top U.S. health official said on Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a news briefing that the United States has not yet placed orders for H1N1 flu vaccines that are now being researched by several companies.

“There is still so much uncertainty about this virus that it is really premature for us to even make a determination about how many people would appropriately be vaccinated, in what order, how many doses will be required, at what point. All those discussions are still very much underway,” she said.

Reporting by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Louise Ireland