WHO issued an update on its deployment of pledged A(H1N1) pandemic vaccine in its “stockpile,” noting that it has received pledges of approximately 200 million doses of vaccine, 74 million syringes (about 130 million short of goal) and US$48 million for operations (about US$14.5 million short of goal). WHO and partners are assisting the 95 countries to receive and use vaccines, with an immediate focus on a first group of 35 countries which must complete three steps: 1) make a request to receive donated vaccines, 2) sign an agreement accepting the terms and conditions of support and 3) develop a national vaccine deployment plan. The report notes that:
– 92 of the 95 countries have requested vaccine donations.
– 59 countries have signed agreements with WHO.
– 37 countries have finalized a National Deployment Plan.
To date, through the first two months of deployment activity, about 2.2 million doses, or about 1% of the pledged stockpile of pandemic vaccine, had been delivered to seven countries. Planned deliveries during March will deploy an additional 15.2 million doses.
The report notes that in the required national deployment plans countries must submit, “…The first target group is health-care workers, as they are a vulnerable group because of their exposure to disease, and vital in keeping a country’s health system functioning.”