Developed countries pledge to distribute 10 percent of their stock

Developed countries have pledged to donate 10 percent of their stock of swine flu vaccines to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for distribution to poor countries that would otherwise not have access to them.

The vaccinations are to be made available to countries on a basis that is proportional to their populations and primarily to protect health care and frontline workers.

The US, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom announced they would be donating the vaccines. The WHO said it would try to ensure the vaccines are distributed to where they are most needed in the developing world.

‘Current supplies of pandemic vaccine are inadequate for a world population in which virtually everyone is susceptible to infection by a new and readily contagious virus,’ said the World Health Organisation.

Health officials in the UK are anticipating a second wave of flu cases. The number of cases almost doubled in the last seven days. Britain’s Chief Medical Officer said there were 5,000 cases last week in England and 3,000 in the week before.

As of September 20 there have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of swine flu with 3917 deaths in 191 countries.