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The World Health Organization has moved ahead with its plans to create a global stockpile of vaccine for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, following agreement by GlaxoSmithKline, Omnivest of Hungary, Baxter and Sanofi to make some of their H5N1 vaccine available.
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan commented: “This is anther significant step towards creating a global resource to help the world and especially developing countries in case of a major outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza.”
Operational planning for the stockpile is still to be finalised, covering such issues as how and under which conditions it will be deployed, and regulatory aspects.
WHO is taking further precautionary measures to prepare for a potential pandemic, including rapid containment plans to stop a pandemic using public health measures