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Mexico, Chile Stresses Need For More Access To Swine Flu Vaccine

by VR Sreeraman on  June 26, 2009 at 3:18 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Mexico and Chile's leaders Thursday stressed an "urgent" need for developing countries to find a vaccine against swine flu that has killed over 200 people and infected tens of thousands worldwide.
 Mexico, Chile Stresses Need For More Access To Swine Flu Vaccine
Mexico, Chile Stresses Need For More Access To Swine Flu Vaccine
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"It is urgent to ensure, on the one hand, access for all developing countries to an effective vaccine, when available, and of course to ensure the availability of appropriate treatment to combat this disease," said Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

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The Mexican leader was summing up his meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, the first foreign leader to visit Mexico since the pandemic first emerged two months ago.

Large pharmaceutical companies have launched a campaign to quickly develop a vaccine against the A(H1N1) influenza virus pandemic that has affected 100 countries.

Swiss drug giant Novartis, has already produced a first batch of vaccines but has ruled out donating the drugs to poor countries and already proposed sales prices. A company spokesman told AFP it hoped to have a vaccine in production by September or October.

Bachelet said the experience of Mexico, which was at the center of the global pandemic when it first emerged in late April, will be very useful for her government to address "the growing number of cases" in Chile, which has confirmed seven deaths and 5,186 infections.

"Chile believes in solidarity among Latin Americans," said Bachelet, after Argentina, Peru, Cuba and Ecuador suspended flights to and from Mexico, which she labeled on Wednesday as the "wrong answer."

The swine flu has killed 116 people and infected 8,163 in Mexico, while there have been 238 deaths and nearly 56,000 infections worldwide, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

Bachelet ended a two-day visit to Mexico on Thursday to mark 10 years of trade between the two countries, during which bilateral trade grew 269 percent, according to the Chilean government.

Source: AFP
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