The U.S. Health and Human Service (HHS) announced Friday that the department will allocate $1 billion to help companies develop new influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine that is spreading quickly in the world.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said it is very important to take necessary steps for potential commercial-scale production of the new Influenza.
The funds will be used to place new orders on existing contracts with companies that hold U.S. licenses for flu vaccines.
Preparation and planning are critical to keep Americans safe in the face of a potential pandemic. Our goal throughout this new H1N1 outbreak has been to stay one step ahead of the virus, Secretary Sebelius said.
Actions we are taking today will help us be prepared if a vaccine is needed, she said. With these funds manufacturers will also prepare pilot lots of potential vaccine for use in clinical studies to determine the proper dose for a vaccine.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there are 42 countries, 11,168 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 86 deaths.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported Friday that 6,552 confirmed cases of the newly virus were discovered, including 9 deaths.
Experts say that a vaccine against the new flu virus would probably have to be given separately from the seasonal flu vaccine.
The U.S. government will share as much information as possible from the results of these clinical studies with the World Health Organization and the global community so that other countries can benefit from the U.S. efforts to determine dosage, safety and effectiveness, HHS declared in a statement.