WHO increases number of approved seasonal flu vaccines

GENEVA — The World Health Organization on Thursday announced 11 new manufacturers of the seasonal flu vaccine, a development that is expected to double the number of influenza doses to 1.7 billion worldwide by 2015, according to published reports. 

In all, there now are 37 approved vaccine manufacturers that potentially could triple their annual production to make as much as 5.4 billion pandemic vaccinations in the event of another H1N1-type outbreak. 

Over the course of the H1N1 outbreak, the WHO had come under criticism for not having enough pandemic vaccine production capacity approved. 

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are among the major producers of influenza vaccines.