OTTAWA-The Canadian government, facing public impatience over the pace of vaccinations for the H1N1 flu, signaled on Tuesday that it might no longer sole-source vaccines for future pandemics.
"As we move forward, just as we have more than one supplier for seasonal (flu vaccine), we'll probably be looking at that as an option (for pandemic vaccines) into the future," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones told the Toronto Star newspaper. A spokeswoman confirmed the gist of his remarks.
Canada now relies only on GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) for its H1N1 vaccine. Though Canada has received more than three times as many doses, on a per capita basis, than the United States, huge, hours-long line-ups have formed in big cities to get the shots.
GlaxoSmithKline produced 2 million vaccines a week for three weeks but this week is cutting back to about half a million because of the requirement that it produce a special variety for pregnant woman...