EU Moves to Fast-Track Swine Flu Vaccine

Rushed vaccine could be dangerous, WHO flu chief warns
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2009 12:45 PM CDT
An AP graphic shows 24 countries identified by the WHO as having companies with the capability to manufacture swine flu vaccine.   (P. Santilli)
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(Newser) – In a drive to inoculate people against swine flu before winter, many European governments say they will fast-track the testing of a new flu vaccine, arousing concern among some experts about safety and proper vaccine doses. Europe's top drug regulator is accelerating the approval process for swine flu vaccine, and countries such as Britain, Greece, France, and Sweden say they'll start using the vaccine after it's greenlighted—possibly within weeks.

The World Health Organization's flu chief warned about the potential dangers of untested vaccines, although he stopped short of criticizing Europe's approach outright. "One of the things which cannot be compromised is the safety of vaccines," he said. "There are certain areas where you can make economies, perhaps, but certain areas where you simply do not try to make any economies."