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Pneumonia & Flu

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Wall Street Journal Examines Program To Spur Vaccine Development For Developing World Diseases

The Wall Street Journal examines a $1.5 billion program supported by Italy, the U.K., Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that hopes “to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines for diseases common to poor countries,” which is expected to be announced Friday “on the sidelines of a meeting of top finance officials from the Group of Eight major industrial powers.”

Declaration of H1N1 Pandemic To Accelerate H1N1 Vaccine Production

The WHO’s decision Thursday to declare H1N1 (swine) flu a pandemic will “speed the production of a vaccine against the new virus,” however scientists continue to caution that “it will be fall at the earliest before the first doses are available,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

GSK Opens Pneumonia Vaccine Plant In Singapore

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on Tuesday opened a $600 million plant in Singapore that is slated to begin producing vaccines to fight pneumonia-causing bacteria in 2011, Reuters reports.

New York Times Examines Varying Definitions Of ‘Pandemic’

“The new swine influenza virus [H1N1], which appeared suddenly after years of warning about a potential pandemic of avian influenza, upset the WHO’s assumptions that most people have the same understanding of the word pandemic,” says the New York Times in a report that examines the difficultly health experts have had when attempting to agree upon what constitutes a pandemic.

WHO To Incorporate Disease Severity Into Pandemic Alert Scale

A meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee held Friday to discuss the H1N1 (swine) flu ended without a pandemic declaration, but experts concluded that declarations would now be based upon the severity and transmission pattern of a virus, Reuters reports.