WHO reforms virus sharing

May 24, 2007 at 8:42 AM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, May 23 (UPI) -- The World Health Organization is trying to reform the system for sharing virus samples and to ensure equitable access to bird flu vaccines.

A resolution, passed Wednesday at the UN health agency's annual assembly, says a WHO working group will develop rules to guarantee "timely sharing of viruses" between affected countries and WHO, and ensure "fair and equitable distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines at affordable prices in the event of a pandemic," The Financial Times said.

It says that "in times of public health emergencies of international concern," manufacturers should be given "full access" to samples.

WHO director-general Margaret Chan has criticized countries that are not sharing samples, accusing them of putting global public health at risk, the newspaper said.

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