Friday, September 18, 2009
Australia approves CSL H1N1 flu vaccine
“There is going to be sufficient vaccine for everyone,” Roxon told reporters in Canberra, adding Australia would be one of the first countries to protect its population from the H1N1 virus.
Australia has ordered 21 million doses of the vaccine from pharmaceutical company CSL Ltd
While the country is coming to the end of its regular flu season, chief medical officer Jim Bishop said the virus was unpredictable, and new cases could emerge throughout the summer with a possible second outbreak before the next flu season.
More than 4,600 Australians have been hospitalised and 172 people have died from H1N1 flu.
Roxon said the rollout would be Australia’s biggest mass vaccination. The vaccinations will be voluntary, and Roxon said she expected the vaccine rollout to be complete by late December.
The initial vaccinations would target health workers and those most vulnerable to severe effects from the pandemic influenza, including pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and Aborigines in remote communities.
Roxon said the full cost of the vaccines was confidential, but said it was worth more than A$100 million (RM318 million). — Reuters