Three years to get ready

The WHO keeps finding humans infected with the bird flu in Viet Nam, and the death rate now stands at 49 out of 79 in SE Asia. We now also know that getting the bird-flu vaccine into mass production will take 3-5 years:

[T]he Department of Health and Human Services had awarded a $97 million contract to pharma giant Sanofi-Pasteur to accelerate its transition from egg-based to cell culture influenza vaccine system. Teams are being assembled at facilities in Swiftwater, PA and Marcy L’Etoile, France to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity in the event of a pandemic. It is a five year plan with most of the work to be done in three years. Three years. I hope we have that long. Effect Measure: Just in time or too late?

Yeah – we hope we have three years. A simple mutation of this nasty “bug” could make it as infectious a the human flu. But this virus kills well over 50 percent of infected humans. In comparison, the Spanish flu of 1918-19, had a mortality rate of 2.5 percent and it killed between 20 and 40 million people world-wide. And that was well before intercontinental air travel. I think we’re toast.

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