Pharmaceuticals firms in the US are mass-producing influenza vaccine for the coming flu season. This comes as US authorities try to lessen the burden on hospitals that are currently more focussed on serving Covid-19 patients, Agence France Presse reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pharmaceuticals are planning to serve the population of 330 million by making 196 million doses of the influenza vaccine, an 11 per cent increase from the last year’s 175 million doses.
Pharmacy chain CVS, which administers flu vaccines without prescription, is planning to double the order of the doses. The company is planning to order 18 million doses.
Vaccine maker Seqirus and Sanofi are planning to accelerate their production by 15 per cent — from 52-60 million doses and 70-80 million respectively.
Every year the World Health Organization along with US health officials select the four strains of the influenza virus between February and March. The vaccine against the four strains gets developed through spring, and syringes are filled in summer.
US authorities also believe that health practices that become necessary after the pandemic, such as wearing masks in public space and using sanitisers regularly, may also help in containing the spread of other viruses like influenza.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in the US has crossed five million, with 170,000 deaths reported so far, as per worldometers.org.