Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010

France sells off surplus swine flu vaccine

Doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine at a medical centre in Chicago, the US
France ordered 94 million doses of swine flu vaccine

France is selling off millions of surplus swine flu vaccine doses to other countries, officials say.

They say the move was decided after health authorities found they had more than enough to deal with the outbreak.

Germany and The Netherlands announced similar sales late last year. The H1N1 virus appears to have peaked in North America and parts of Europe.

However it remains active elsewhere. More than 11,500 people worldwide are believed to have died from swine flu.

A French health ministry official told AFP on Sunday: "We started with a plan for two-dose vaccinations but since one dose is sufficient we can start to resell part of the stock."

The government bought 94 million swine flu vaccine doses - more than one for every French person - and started vaccinating in October.

Only about five million people are recorded as having been vaccinated in France so far, AFP reports.

Le Parisien newspaper quotes officials as saying Qatar had bought 300,000 doses and Egypt was negotiating to buy two million.

Last week the head of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan said it was "premature" to say that the H1N1 pandemic was over.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Bangkok Post Europe sells excess H1N1 vaccine - 12 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald France joins EU's flu vaccine sell-off - 13 hrs ago
France24 INFLUENZA A (H1N1): France to sell off millions of surplus flu shots - 16 hrs ago
NEWS.com.au Europe sells surplus swine flu vaccines - 17 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! France joins Europe flu vaccine sell-off - 19 hrs ago



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