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WHO - Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world

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  • WHO - Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world

    WHO - Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world
    Statement by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan

    18 September 2009

    Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world

    WHO applauds and welcomes the announcement of donations of pandemic vaccine made today by the United States of America, in concert with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

    The announcement demonstrates the commitment of these countries to fairness in sharing of scarce resources as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic continues to evolve.

    Current supplies of pandemic vaccine are inadequate for a world population in which virtually everyone is susceptible to infection by a new and readily contagious virus.

    Given that current demand outstrips supply, these donations, together with the doses pledged by manufacturers, will help increase supplies of pandemic vaccines to populations that would otherwise not have access.

    WHO continues to support developing countries to ensure donated vaccines are distributed where they are most needed.
    <cite cite="">WHO | Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world</cite>

  • #2
    Re: WHO - Pandemic vaccine donations for the developing world

    Swine flu in poor nations a WHO priority

    21 September 2009 | 12:02:50 AM | Source: AAP

    Top of the agenda for the World Health Organisation's Western Pacific meeting this week will be how to combat the swine flu pandemic in developing nations.

    There are growing fears that poorer countries will not get enough vaccines, despite a pledge last week by the United States and eight other nations to make 10 per cent of their swine flu vaccine supply available to others in need.

    "The developing world will have no access to vaccines for the time being. There are some donations but it is not enough," said Lo Wing-lok, a member of Hong Kong's government scientific committee on emerging diseases.

    "It is very much a matter of equity and the WHO must look at any way to address this."

    Developing countries such as the Philippines are not only unable to produce the vaccine for the A(H1N1) flu virus but their people are more vulnerable to infection because of poverty, crowded living conditions and lack of health care.

    While the Americas still has the highest death toll from the virus, cases are expected to increase as the northern hemisphere enters winter.

    In the Western Pacific there are about a million people living in poor conditions without access to health care, making them particularly vulnerable, WHO regional director Shin Young-soo told reporters on Sunday, a day ahead of the start of the organisation's meetings in Hong Kong.

    "Hopefully many countries including China and the United States are soon going to vaccinate their own people but that is not the case for many developing countries and it is something we are worried about," he said.

    The WHO and the United Nations are working on raising a billion dollars to help buy vaccines for countries that need help, he added.

    Shin said some experts estimate that 20 to 30 per cent of the Western Pacific region will eventually be affected by the virus.

    So far Australia has the highest swine flu death toll in the region, with about 171 deaths, according to the WHO.

    The organisation warned on Friday that production of vaccines will fall substantially short of the amount needed to protect the global population.

    It put the number of deaths worldwide from the virus at 3,486, up 281 from the previous week.

    Despite new evidence that only one dose of the vaccines being tested will be enough for most people, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said output next year will be "substantially less" than the 4.9 billion doses annual production forecast.

    The United States, Australia, Brazil, Britain, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland have said they will make donations to nations without vaccines.

    China is also at the forefront of international efforts to produce a vaccine with at least five companies already receiving government approval, but officials there have also warned demand will exceed supply.

    Shin downplayed concerns about the safety of Chinese vaccinations.

    China's state news agency Xinhua reported last week that some epidemic disease experts were worried that the vaccines' reliability had yet to be proved because of a faster than usual clinical trial period.

    "Licensing procedures are tough and vigorous and we are not compromising on safety or quality in our controls although of course there are some worries about side-effects," Shin said.

    He also defended Beijing's record on informing the WHO of developments.

    Last week the Chinese health ministry reported a jump in the number of cases to 10,221 from 3,103 in mid-August but no deaths have yet been reported.

    "China is a very big country. It is possible that information does not always pass up the line to Beijing but the Chinese government has been very transparent on the issue (of swine flu)," Shin said.

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