While 47 people in Baltimore, US, queued up to participate in the first human trials for H1N1, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, it will be a while before Indians get a shot of their vaccine. Trials in India have a long way to go. The three Indian vaccine manufacturing firms have yet to start their animal testing (the first leg of the trials before the human trials). So while the World Health Organisation (WHO) and multinationals in Europe and the US have promised the vaccine by fall, India’s indigenous vaccine is likely to hit the market only in the first quarter of 2010.
Many countries in the West have announced their vaccination schedules. Britain’s swine flu vaccination programme is to start in October for ‘at-risk groups’. A first batch of 300,000 vaccines will arrive in London this month, with 54.6 million additional vaccines expected by December. Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation said it expected the first vaccines to combat the H1N1 flu to be ready for use in some countries from September.