13 Jan 2010

Too late, too much

Today the Minister of Health, Professor Ferruccio Fazio, was asked in Parliament what to do with the unused doses of the swine flu vaccine. He was also questioned about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine itself, and about the costs of the campaign. Professor Fazio admitted that “the vaccine was available only when the first wave of the epidemic has begun”, and that the flu was, “thankfully”, really mild. These two facts have kept people away from the vaccine. Some 850,000 people got vaccinated, using a small fraction of the 10-million available doses. But there is this lesson of the swine flu, the vaccine supply was too late.
The Government expect to pay 184 million euros for 24 millions of doses, but the final figure could be less than that. According to the Minister, “the Government is evaluating some possibilities that could guarantee an appropriate use of the commitments decided by the Government against the swine flu.” The pronouncement isn't very clear, but it could mean the Government is going to sell the vaccine stock.

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