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Government of Canada announces funding for research on the H1N1 flu virus
Date:6/5/2009

This release is available in French.

Toronto (June 5, 2009) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, is pleased to announce another measure to address the H1N1 flu virus. The Government of Canada will fund a national influenza research network focused on pandemic vaccine evaluation. The network will strengthen Canada's capacity to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a pandemic influenza vaccine and vaccination programs.

The network was created through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). It will be led by Dr. Scott Halperin, Director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax. It will link over 80 scientists from 30 research and public health institutions across Canada.

"The development and delivery of an effective influenza vaccine are critical to addressing the H1N1 flu virus, said Minister Aglukkaq. This research network will help ensure that Canadians have a safe vaccine that can be provided quickly."

The network will provide a pan-Canadian coordinating mechanism for conducting applied public health research that will help governments and the public health community prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic. Network scientists will:

  • test methodologies for the performance of rapid clinical trials
  • assess the safety and immunogenicity of a novel pandemic influenza vaccine
  • provide population-based estimates of vaccine safety and effectiveness
  • measure vaccine coverage
  • facilitate the rapid implementation of pandemic influenza vaccine programs

"Canada is fortunate to have a strong community of internationally-recognized infectious disease researchers," says Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "Through the leadership of Dr. Bhagirath Singh, Scientific Director of CIHR's
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Contact: David Coulombe
613-941-4563
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Source:Eurekalert

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