Polish attitude towards H1N1 pandemic and WHO’s credibility in the context of bioterrorist threats
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Milczanowski, M. (2012). Polish attitude towards H1N1 pandemic and WHO’s credibility in the context of bioterrorist threats. Studia Europaea Gnesnensia, (6), 108–121. Pobrano z https://pressto.amu.edu.pl/index.php/seg/article/view/2547


The article discusses the credibility of WHO, one of the most important global organisations responsible for distributing information, issuing guidelines and recommendations in the case of imminent threat of epidemics, pandemics of bioterrorist attack.  In view of the uniqe character of bioterrorist threat, it is particularly important that such an organisation be beyond any suspicion. Unfortunately, the H1N1 case of 2009 – 2010 caused a tremedous credibility deficit, both among the people and in governments.  European Commission conducted an investigation concerning the justifiability of purchasing drugs that were to halt the pandemics. Yet the most important discovery was that many advisors to government members at the time had connections with pharmaceutical companies, which had a direct influence on state decisions to make bulk purchases of medicines.  On multiple occasions, WHO recommended buying vaccines and administering them to entire populations. In view of all these circumstances, WHO’s credibility has much decreased after the H1N1 crisis. In this situation, the stance of the government ofPoland, which firmly opposed the pressure to buy the vaccines deserves a detailed analysis. It seems that the decision was dictated not only by financial considerations but most of all resulted from a rational assessment of the situation. At the same time, WHO should change the procedure it employs in such situation, becoming a body which does not only advise but also takes responsibility for the recommended solutions.

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