Although we are waiting eagerly for the first swine flu vaccine to hit the market, it seems production of the vaccine will be much less than the original estimates. According to a warning from the World Health Organization (WHO), supply will be much less than anticipated earlier, especially with the winter season approaching in the northern hemisphere. Per initial estimates from October onwards, about 94 million doses of vaccine could have been manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies, but this target has already been slashed by 50-75% due to poorer than expected yield from the virus strains.
Almost 25 pharmaceutical companies are racing against time to bring the vaccine to the market. Among these the top five which include, Sanofi-Pasteur of France (the vaccine arm of Sanofi-Aventis, SNY), AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN – News), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK – News), Baxter (NYSE: BAX – News), and Novartis (NYSE: NVS – News) are likely to contribute almost 80% of the total production.