WHO to press drug firms to develop vaccine for avian flu

Officials of the World Health Organization plan to meet with executives of 16 vaccine makers Nov. 11 to urge them to get involved in developing human vaccines against avian flu. Only two companies -- Aventis Pasteur and Chiron -- currently are conducting research on such vaccines, but there are many others with vaccine expertise. As avian flu becomes established in Asia, the world is "closer to the next pandemic than we ever were," a WHO official said.

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