Spain records sixth death from swine flu

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As national swine flu toll rises, Spain’s health minister announces plans to make available 37 million doses of the vaccine.

Madrid – A 53-year-old man has died of swine flu in Spain, the health ministry said Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the disease in the country to six.

The man died at an unspecified date "from complications related to the influenza A(H1N1)" virus after being admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in the eastern town of Alzira, the ministry said in a statement.

Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez later announced that Spain plans to vaccinate up to 40 percent of the population against swine flu.

She said the first to benefit from the vaccine would be health workers and others in essential services, followed by pregnant women, children under age 14, and persons suffering from illnesses such as cardiovascular or respiratory diseases that put them at a higher risk.

The government plans to make available 37 million doses of the vaccine in the country of around 46 million, "bearing in mind that two doses per person will be necessary," she told a parliamentary committee.

The vaccines will be available in the autumn.

There are currently 1,806 confirmed cases of A(H1N1) in Spain, according to the ministry.

A 20-year-old Moroccan woman who was seven months pregnant became the first Spanish swine flu death in Madrid on 30 June.

More than 800 people have been killed around the globe by the A(H1N1) virus, which first surfaced in Mexico in April. The World Health Organisation warns the pandemic is now unstoppable.

AFP / Expatica

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