G8 vaccine plan in danger of failure

July 7, 2006

A disagreement between the United States and France may prevent a proposed vaccine program from being approved by G8 leaders.

A senior official with knowledge of the discussions said the proposal, which would offer incentives to pharmaceutical companies that develop working vaccines, "is now in substantial danger of flopping even though there is an extraordinary level of support among some key stakeholders," The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Officials from the United States and France engaged in a heated debate at a G8 meeting last month over a French proposition for an international airline-ticket tax to benefit poor countries in need of aid. French officials said at the meeting they would not approve the vaccine plan unless the airline tax passed, but the Bush administration has refused to consider it, the senior official told the Journal.

Japan and Germany have also expressed reservations about the possible cost of the vaccine plan. "A number of other governments in the G8 don't want to pony up more money for something right now," said a senior U.S. Treasury official, the Journal reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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