Obama To Discuss Combating H1N1 At North American Leaders Summit
President Obama arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sunday for a two-day North American Leaders Summit with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Wall Street Journal reports.Â The leaders “are discussing efforts to stem the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, economic competitiveness, national security, and global climate change,” according to White House officials (Williamson, 8/9).
“But given the ongoing concerns about a flu pandemic, the H1N1 virus will be at the top of the list,” the Hill writes. John Brennan, U.S. deputy national security advisor, “said that the focus of the trilateral meeting will be discussing the flu ‘in terms of vaccine development, distribution, antiviral distribution, the community mitigation measures that we’re taking in our respective countries, how weâ€™re trying to ensure that we’re going to do everything possible to minimize the impact of H1N1,’” according to the Hill (Youngman, 8/8).
Out of the summit, Brennan said, “There is going to be a joint statement on how the three countries … tackle the H1N1 challenge,” the Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle writes. “While the H1N1 virus is in a summer lull in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s expected to roar back in the fall. Public health officials are readying medicines and public education campaigns, hoping to curb the flu without disrupting vital cross-border trade and tourism,” the news service writes (Smith, 8/10).
H1N1 Clinical Trials Ramp Up; India, South AfricaÂ Concerned Over H1N1 Vaccine Shortage
Drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur started clinical trials of its H1N1 vaccine last week, and is expected to test it on about 2,000 people in the U.S., the company announced Friday, the AP reports (Cheng, 8/8). MSNBC.com examines the “hundreds of volunteers nationwide” who, beginning on Monday, will participate in “the fast-track tests that must be completed before nationwide vaccine distribution can begin, probably in mid-October” (Aleccia, 8/8).
The Hindu examines the efforts currently underway in India to produce an H1N1 vaccine. Because Indian drugmakers waited until recently to begin developing a H1N1 vaccine, it will likely be several months before a vaccine becomes available and even then, the vaccine will only be available in limited supply (Raj, 8/8).
The Mail & Guardian examinesÂ concerns about an anticipated limited supply of H1N1 vaccine in South AfricaÂ (Kardas-Nelson, 8/8).
South American Nations Pledge To Observe Regional Vaccine Price Ceilings
“South America’s 12 nations on Saturday pledged to respect regional vaccine price ceilings to prevent businesses from exploiting fear of the H1N1 flu pandemic, Ecuador’s Health Minister Caroline Chang said,” Reuters reports. “‘(We) establish a commitment to not buy individually, above the prices set by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) … to prevent commercial interests from taking advantage of pandemic panic,’ she said, summarizing the conclusions of a meeting of the region’s health ministries, called to map out a strategy to fight the pandemic,” the news service writes (Valencia/Naranjo, 8/8).
U.S. Troops In Iraq Infected With H1N1; First H1N1 Death In Iraq
The U.S. military announced Sunday that 51 American troops in Iraq have been confirmed to have H1N1, “while another 71 soldiers remain in isolation suspected of contracting the potentially deadly virus,” the AP reports (Carter, 8/9).
Also on Sunday, Iraqi health officials announced the country’s first H1N1 death, Reuters reports (al-Salhy, 8/9).