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A postmortem on the pandemic that never was will feature highly on the agenda of the World Influenza Congress, held from 7th-9th December in Amsterdam. The annual meeting of scientists, public health officials and drug companies will examine whether 2009’s pandemic should have been declared at all, and whether “pre-pandemic mass vaccination” is the only way to save the world.

The annual World Health Report, published in November, will focus on the financing of health systems and offer a roadmap to universal coverage. It could prove painful reading for President Obama, whose healthcare reforms face an uncertain future after the…

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