September 17, 2009 / 4:43 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. to offer 10 pct of H1N1 vaccine internationally

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is prepared to make 10 percent of its H1N1 vaccine supply available to other countries through the World Health Organization, the White House said Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration officially licensed the 2009-H1N1 influenza vaccine this week, after U.S. authorities announced last week that one dose, not two, would be effective in developing immunity in most adults.

The vaccine is expected to be available in the coming weeks, earlier than originally anticipated.

“We remain confident that the United States will have sufficient doses of the vaccine to ensure that every American who wants a vaccine is able to receive one,” the White House said in a statement.

Millions of people around the world have been infected with the H1N1 vaccine, thousands have died and the virus continues to spread across international borders.

Washington said it was taking its action to share the vaccine internationally with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and Britain.

It said it would make the vaccine available to the WHO on a rolling basis as vaccine supplies become available, to assist countries that might not have direct access to the vaccine.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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