France starts swine flu vaccinations

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France will begin vaccinating key medical workers against swine flu on Tuesday and will continue the preventative campaign for the general population early next month, officials said.

More than 1,000 centres will be set up for the campaign to vaccinate the general public. The health ministry said Monday details of the project would be unveiled later in the week.

But a document released last month by Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the campaign would focus first on health professionals, then pregnant women, infants and their carers, and people with underlying health problems.

Vaccinations for the rest of the population will come once the priority groups have been taken care of.

An opinion poll in late September showed that two thirds of the French public did not plan to get vaccinated against swine flu, with more than half saying they feared side effects from the jabs.

France has ordered 94 million doses of vaccine in response to the A/H1N1 pandemic.

Monday's announcement came a day after an 11-month-old baby in France died from swine flu. The child, who had been in a Paris children’s hospital since Friday, also suffered from a serious heart condition, officials said.

It was the 33rd death in France from swine flu.


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