Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Excess Jersey swine flu vaccines could be sent abroad

Swine flu vaccination
Swine flu vaccinations have been offered to everyone in Jersey

Thousands of surplus doses of the swine flu vaccine in Jersey could be sent to countries that cannot afford their own.

About 40% of people in Jersey have been vaccinated against the virus, but enough vaccine was purchased to give the island's population two doses each.

Dr Susan Turnbull, the deputy medical officer of health, said they could distribute vaccine to other countries.

She told BBC Jersey: "There are lots of cunning plans and I don't think complete wastage is one of them."

The health department could keep some of the vaccine for future flu outbreaks.

'Range of options'

There were four new cases of the virus in Jersey in the week leading up to 10 January, bringing the total to 702.

Dr Turnbull said: "When the vaccines were first manufactured, the recommendation from the vaccine authorities around the world was that two doses would be needed.

"Everywhere has got a surplus. We're looking at all of the possible options to see if anybody is out there who wants to buy some vaccine, but we're in competition with much bigger places.

"The world health organisation is looking at redistributing vaccine to countries that can't afford it, and are still experiencing problems with swine flu.

"There are a range of options on the table and we're looking into all of them."

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