by Barbara Minton, Natural Health Editor
Executives from Baxter, Novartis, Glaxo-Smith Kline, and Sanofi Pasteur have seats at the advisory group that on July 13th recommended mandatory H1N1 vaccination of everyone in all 194 countries that belong to the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a report just issued by journalist Jane Burgermeister. WHO spokesperson Alphaluck Bhatiasevi confirmed that Dr. Margaret Chan did not give the press briefing at WHO headquarters in Geneva as anticipated. At short notice, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny stepped in to announce that “vaccines will be needed in all countries.”
According to WHO documents, vaccines “such as those that are formulated with oil-in-water adjuvants and live attenuated influenza vaccines are important.” Health workers, pregnant women, healthy young adults of 15 to 49 years, and healthy children will be the targeted groups of the world wide vaccine effort.
“All countries should immunize their health-care workers as a first priority to protect the essential health infrastructure. As vaccines available initially will not be sufficient, a step-wise approach to vaccinate particular groups may be considered,” according to Paule-Kieny. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation established by the Director-General of the WHO in 1999, suggested the following groups for consideration, noting that countries need to determine their order of priority based on country-specific conditions: pregnant women; children over the age of 6 months with one of several chronic medical conditions; healthy young adults of 15 to 49 years of age; healthy children; healthy adults of 50 to 64 years of age; and healthy adults of 65 years of age and above.