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Swine-flu jabs “by end of August”


The first of 60 million batches of swine-flu vaccine should begin arriving at the end of August, the Government has said.

But there may be some delay between when the manufacturers, Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), deliver the supplies and people receive the first of the required two doses.

The Government has drawn up a priority list of people to receive the jab, which must first be approved by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it can be used.

Delivery of the 60 million batches is scheduled to be completed by December. Because each person needs two doses for a complete vaccination, there will be enough for half the population.

But a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We have contracts for enough vaccine for the whole population once it has been developed. These contracts were set up some time ago to ensure we are first in the queue.

“Creating a new vaccine is a complex scientific procedure, but we expect to have around 60 million doses by the end of the year. These predictions are as accurate as possible considering that manufacturers are dealing with the production and testing of complex biological products.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Swine flu

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