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Fair availability of flu vaccine stressed

The WHO and the UN have met with vaccine manufacturers to stress that any vaccine for Influenza A must be made available to all who need it

WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, and United Nations(UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, have met with over 30 vaccine manufacturers from developing and developed countries to stress that any eventual vaccine for Influenza A (H1N1) must be made available to all who need it.

They asked the manufacturers to cooperate with them in developing this strategy. Industry representatives confirmed their willingness to work together to make supplies available to developing countries, and said they were ready to produce the vaccine when requested.

Dr Chan said: "We have a very serious commitment from companies in the north and in the south to work with WHO."

She added that the Secretary-General's ability to mobilise resources "is extremely vital when the world is under threat of an imminent pandemic".

Together with the UN and other members of the global community, WHO will work to find innovative funding mechanisms that ensure developing countries are not denied access to vaccines through a lack of finance.

Dr Chan has already spoken with UNITAID, GAVI, the World Bank and other foundations to continue work on funding. She will also meet vaccine manufacturers individually to work out strategies to ensure pandemic vaccine availability.

20th May 2009

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