Belgium to get swine flu vaccine next month

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Belgium will get its first doses of a GlaxoSmithKline swine flu vaccine next month, but none will be administered until the EU gives the go-ahead, the national health minister announced on Thursday.

In mid September the British pharmaceutical giant GSK should deliver around 200,000 doses of the vaccine which will rise to 10 million by the end of the year, the health ministry said.

Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx refused to give details of the deal with GSK, but the vaccinations will be administered for free, with high-risk groups given priority.

The vaccine campaign for the A/H1N1 influenza virus, which has claimed some 1,800 lives worldwide, will run alongside the annual vaccination for ordinary seasonal flu.

"The challenge will be to combine the two campaigns," said Onkelinx.


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