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New support to pandemic vaccine supply

22 November 2007

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland's contribution of £2 million today to support the WHO global pandemic influenza action plan to increase vaccine supply is very much appreciated and is a gesture of global solidarity. This will serve to help establish critical influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity in developing countries and is a step towards better health security for all countries.

WHO salutes the financial support of the United States of America, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Asian Development Bank in helping to close the gap between the supply of pandemic influenza vaccines and the expected high demand for vaccine doses in the event of an influenza pandemic.

We must strive for greater and more equitable distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines. Additional funding is needed to fully protect the world's population from pandemic influenza. We call on all well-off countries to step up to the plate and assist with our US$ 10 billion effort. Vaccines are the best insurance policy for public health. This investment will save many lives: now from seasonal influenza and later when an influenza pandemic strikes.

For further information, please contact:

Melinda Henry
Communications Officer
Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals
WHO, Geneva
Tel.: +41 22 791 2535
Mobile: +41 79 477 1738

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