Kathmandu, October 25:

Sustained action and funding are required to increase vaccine supply so as to control an influenza pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a release on Monday.

Citing a set of activities identified in the WHO’s new global pandemic influenza action plan, it said: “We are several billion doses short of the amount of pandemic influenza vaccine we would need to protect global population. This situation could lead to a public health crisis,” the statement said.

The global action plan sets the course for what needs to be done, starting now, to increase vaccine production capacity and close the gap. It identifies and prioritises practical solutions for reducing the potential pandemic influenza vaccine supply gap; these are contained in eight strategies with activities for the short (tangible results in less than five years), medium (five to ten years) and long (over 10 years) terms. Activities need to be undertaken simultaneously.