Vaccine Would Be Spoken For
Rich Nations Have Preexisting Contracts

Although no final decision has been made to produce a vaccine against the new strain of swine flu, officials at the World Health Organization say they are aware of “pre-production contracts” by wealthy countries that may lay claim to substantial quantities of any that is made.

The worldwide capacity for making a pandemic vaccine is 2 billion doses at the most and possibly as little as 1 billion doses, depending on the uncertainties involving production and dosage. Of that total, the United States has preexisting contracts that would allow it to buy at least 600 million doses.