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Spain and Greece start swine flu vaccinations

Madrid–Swine flu has killed at least 90 people in Spain, while press reports say fewer than 10 people have died in Greece. Athens has for weeks released no official figures on fatalities or on the number of cases.

Spain’s health ministry said the government has bought 37 million doses of the A(H1N1) flu vaccine and will start inoculating high-risk groups such as pregnant women, health workers and those with serious illnesses.

Health authorities in Greece said a total of 700,000 doses would be made available on a voluntary basis to doctors, ambulance staff and other high-risk employees. A second vaccination wave will follow next week for pregnant women and people with underlying health concerns, officials said.

The campaign will continue to mid-December with people aged 18-49, children and adolescents, and those over 50, the Greek health ministry said.

The United States began swine flu vaccinations on 6 October. In Europe, Britain and France began their own campaigns late last month, after similar actions in Belgium, Italy and Sweden.

In Tunisia, the government announced on Monday the North African country’s first two swine flu fatalities.

The two men, one aged 37 and another aged 40, died in hospital at the weekend, Tunisia’s public health ministry said.

At least 6,250 people have died of swine flu worldwide, with most of the deaths recorded in the Americas, according to the World Health Organisation. It said the pandemic now stretches across 206 countries or territories worldwide.

AFP/ Expatica