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I have some bad news and some good news – PR Week Post #12


June 26, 2009

(Click here for the orginal PR Week post)

OK, bad news first.  Earlier today, the Department of Health moved into full crisis mode and finally acknowledging that swine flu was spreading too quickly to contain. I can’t say I didn’t see this coming!  Needless to say, at the same time, the media sprang into a level of action not seen since the crisis began with nearly 800 outlets carrying the story within a few hours of the statement.  Since talking about the outbreak in my very first blog (I think there were about 11 cases back then) there have been new stories on what seems like an hourly basis each carrying a new total.  As it now stands at over 3,700.

Now for the good (and less publicised) news. Congratulations must be extended to the vaccine manufacturers who have simply worked miracles. I was fortunate enough to meet Andrew Witty (CEO of GlaxoSmithKline) last Friday who said that the manufacturing process has been accelerated to such an extent as to guarantee vaccine availability to the entire population.  This acceleration process usually takes months and they achieved it in two weeks.  It is astonishing what the pharmaceutical industry can achieve when everyone is on their side.