It may take substantially longer to make the full amounts of Influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, vaccines Canada has contracted to buy because efforts to improve the yield of the vaccine seed strains aren't bearing fruit, experts say.

Three of the laboratories involved in the work are sounding increasingly pessimistic that the yield problem can be fixed in the short term. “It’s not looking very bright at the moment,” said John Wood, principal scientist at Britain’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. He indicated that they were able to create 75 per cent less vaccines for this virus.

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in Ontario now stands at 3,804, according to the latest numbers from the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Health-care professionals from across Canada, including Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Arlene King, are meeting in Toronto this week to draft plans to deal with a potential H1N1 pandemic.

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