13/04/2011 Countries are close to a deal to speed up their response to the next flu pandemic by sharing virus samples in return for access to affordable vaccines, diplomats at the World Health Organisation said yesterday. Diplomats told journalists they were in talks with drug companies and other bodies to clear obstacles identified in past outbreaks. Officials are hoping to reach an agreement by Friday on a political deal for health ministers to approve at the WHO’s annual meeting from May 16 to 24, said the two co-chairs of a WHO working group.
Negotiations began four years ago after the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus emerged in southeast Asia. A year later, Indonesia stopped sharing flu virus samples with the WHO’s network of laboratories, demanding its share of vaccines.
“We have to ensure that vaccines are both affordable and accessible,” Mexico’s ambassador and co-chair Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, told a news briefing. “We need to ensure we have a legally binding instrument that will regulate the exchange of influenza viruses and the access to benefits. This should be the last round of negotiations,” he said.
“We are being very, very careful in the handling of this because there are many sensitive issues that pertain to pricing and intellectual property,” Angell-Hansen said. “We are trying to have a more predictable system for pandemic times,” she added. “Industry is really giving very positive signals back to us.”
• Birds culled -eggs destroyed (Link)
• Four Bird Flu Suspects (Link)
• Cilacap Resident Dies of Bird Flu (Link)
• Colima confirms first case of H1N1 (Link)
• S. African Vets in Talks on How to Manage Bird Flu Outbreak (Link)
• CO: Flu Vaccine Syringes Shared Between Patients (Link)
• RI: RI flu cases increased this year (Link)
• NE: Nebraska quarantines 3 flocks of birds because of flu (Link)
• NE: Officials report sick animals, bird flock under quarantine (Link)
• NE: NDA Quarantines Backyard Flocks Due to Low Path Avian Influenza (Link)
• To investigate clinical and hospital before death H1N1 (translated) (Link)
• Up to 28 cases of H1N1 in Tachira and no vaccines (translated) (Link)
• Guajira mayor and his wife have H1N1 (translated) (Link)
• Aragua state: 49 cases of H1N1 flu in the state Aragua (translated) (Link)
• Bolivar state: Unknown virus killed six Warao children (translated) (Link)
• Apathy hinders swine flu fight (Link)
• Eliminating H5N1 will take more than 10 years (Link)