WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan called the agreement "a very significant victory for public health."

WHO Members Agree to Share Flu Virus Samples

Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan hailed the agreement reached last weekend as paving the way for effective response during future influenza pandemics.

A week of final negotiations that continued into last weekend resulting in an agreement by World Health Organization member states to share influenza virus samples during a pandemic so they can collectively protect public health. WHO announced the agreement April 17, with Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan calling it "a very significant victory for public health. It has reinforced my belief," she added, "that global health in the 21st Century hinges on bringing governments and key stakeholders like civil society and industry together to find solutions."

The agreement spells out the roles and responsibilities of WHO, national laboratories, and manufacturers of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. It applies to sharing H5N1 and other influenza viruses with human pandemic potential but does not apply to seasonal influenza viruses or other non-influenza pathogens or biological substances.

"The framework provides a much more coherent and unified global approach for ensuring that influenza viruses are available to the WHO system for monitoring and development of critical benefits, such as vaccines, antiviral drugs, and scientific information, while at the same time ensuring more equitable access to these benefits by developing countries," said Dr Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of Health Security and Environment at WHO. Developing countries often lack the manufacturing capacity or money to order large stocks of vaccines, according to the agency. The framework document cites "the continuing risk of an influenza pandemic with potentially devastating health, economic and social impacts, particularly for developing countries which suffer a higher disease burden and are more vulnerable."

The agreement will be presented to the World Health Assembly next month for its consideration and approval. Negotiations by 193 WHO member states actually began in November 2007 as avian H5N1 influenza was spreading in southeast Asia.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue