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Canada will give H1N1 vaccine to WHO

By Bob Ewing     Jan 28, 2010 in World
As the demand falls across the country, the Canadian federal government plans to donate five million doses of the vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Globe and Mail reports the donation will assist the WHO in its efforts to redistribute the vaccine to developing countries that couldn't afford their own supplies. The five million does is 10 percent of the country’s total vaccine order.
“We are fortunate to be in a position to contribute H1N1 flu vaccine to the WHO to help developing countries now that we have met Canada's immediate needs,” Canada's Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, said in a statement.
The federal government has not previously said anything about its plans for the surplus vaccine. Countries such as Germany and Spain have made public plans to sell or donate their excess vaccine or scale back their orders.
The federal government’s vaccine order was placed when it was believed that each person needed two shots to be protected. Later on it was found one dose would be needed to provide immunity.
The supply of vaccine on hand in Canada will still be significant after this donation, however, there is some discussion about the possibility of a third wave of the swine flu virus, although not all medical experts agree on this possibility.
David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, told the Globe, “We are continuing to encourage Canadians who have not yet been vaccinated to do so – not only because the H1N1 flu virus is still circulating in some communities, but also because getting vaccinated today will provide individuals with a strong base of protection in the event of a third H1N1 flu virus wave or if the virus drifts.”
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