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Flu Shots! Clearance! Bargains! Last Chance!
January 4, 2010 permalink
The drug companies can't seem to get people to take enough of those H1N1 swine flu shots. France is putting millions of doses on sale at bargain prices.
Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010
France sells off surplus 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.