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African Vaccine Maker Plans To Increase Production Capacity Sevenfold By 2013

Biovac Institute, a South African vaccine maker, said Monday that it is working with other major pharmaceutical firms to increase its annual capacity sevenfold to 35 million doses by 2013, Reuters reports. Morena Makhoana, the company’s deputy chief executive, said that 25 million of those doses will remain in Africa.

WHO Rejects Accusations It Mishandled H1N1, Updates Worldwide Stats

WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl on Monday rejected accusations that the organization miscategorized H1N1 (swine flu) as a pandemic, calling such accusations “irresponsible,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 [swine flu] influenza strain,” the news service writes.

Also In Global Health News: Dengue Vaccine; Medicines For Poor; Gates New Ag Development Director; USDA Efforts In Afghanistan; Soccer And Malaria

Experimental Dengue Vaccine Shows Promise In Clinical Trial Of Adults An experimental dengue vaccine created by the drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis protected a group of healthy adults from all four strains of the virus, “bringing the drugmaker closer to providing the first vaccine against a disease that threatens 40 percent of the…

Official H1N1-Related Death Count Approaches 13,000 Worldwide, WHO Says

H1N1 (swine flu) has killed 12,799 people worldwide since the virus first emerged, the WHO said on Friday, United Press International reports (1/8). According to the WHO, more than half of the H1N1-related deaths worldwide occurred in the Americas, China Daily reports (1/9).

Wall Street Journal Examines Polio Vaccinations In Afghanistan

In a story about polio vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal examines how the Taliban and international health agencies are working together to promote oral vaccination campaigns across the country. Vaccination campaign volunteers usually bring a “single-page letter requesting people to cooperate, ‘for the benefit of our next generations.’ The letter’s signatory: Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed supreme leader of the Taliban,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Developing Countries Reassess Need For Donated H1N1 Vaccine

As the number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in some regions of the world continues to fall, developing countries scheduled to receive donated H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines from the WHO are reassessing just how much vaccines their countries need, the Canadian Press reports. “The WHO had hoped to provide vaccine for up to 10 per cent of the populations of developing countries that wanted donated vaccine,” the newspaper writes.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Perspective Offers Ethical Case For Pursuing Polio Eradication A Lancet perspective piece examines the ethical case for pursuing polio eradication, ahead of an anticipated announcement by the World Health Assembly next month to endorse an aggressive strategy to stop polio transmission. “In a world of limited and finite resources there…

Experts Begin Probe Of WHO’s Response To H1N1

Health experts on Monday began a probe of how the WHO responded to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic “nearly a year after global alarm was raised over the new swine flu strain,” Agence France-Presse reports (Capella, 4/12).

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