WHO: Immediate and sustained action required on AI
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says its new global
pandemic influenza action plan to increase vaccine supply requires immediate and
sustained action and funding, if the world is to be prepared for an influenza
"We are presently several billion doses short of the amount of pandemic
influenza vaccine we would need to protect the global population," said Dr
Marie-Paule Kieny, Director, WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research
. "The Global Action Plan
sets the course for what needs to be done, starting now, to increase vaccine
production capacity and close the gap."
The Global Action
is the product of the advice of more than 120 scientific experts from
national immunisation programmes, national regulatory authorities, scientists
and vaccine manufacturers in both industrialised and developing countries.
It identifies and prioritises practical solutions for reducing the
potential pandemic influenza vaccine supply gap.
The action plan has already received support from many countries and
Dr Peter Salama, Chief, Child
Survival and Immunisation Unit
, said: â€œOur agency is pleased to support the Global
Action Plan. We are working with the WHO
to make sure that developing countries have the capacity
to effectively and rapidly use the pandemic vaccine when it becomes
Today, the United States announced a US$ 10 million contribution to the WHO
to support influenza vaccine development and manufacturing infrastructure in
Leveraging its experience with domestic vaccine production, Canada is also
supporting the Global Action Plan. â€œThe global community has a responsibility to
work together to narrow the supply gap,â€ said Canada's Health Minister, Tony Clement
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