Monday, September 21, 2009

Hungary To Start Mass Swine Flu Vaccinations Sep 29 - Official

BUDAPEST -(Dow Jones)- Hungary will start the distribution of 2 million doses of its A/H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine Sept. 29, Chief Medical Officer Ferenc Falus said Monday.

"There is no other country where enough vaccine for 20% of its would be ready for use by Oct. 1," Falus said at a press conference.

The human testing of the vaccine will also be concluded Sept. 29, but preliminary results are so satisfactory that the vaccine is considered effective, Falus said.

Hungary will distribute a total of 6 million doses over a few weeks from Sept. 29.

The 6 million doses, which the government ordered from Hungarian vaccine manufacturer Omninvest Kft., will cover around 60% of the population of about 10 million. To stop any epidemic, half the population has to be vaccinated, Falus said.

Four million doses will be free of charge and administered to children, pregnant women, those younger than 60 with a chronic illness, and health care workers, among others. The remaining 2 million doses will be sold through pharmacies for less than 2,000 forints ($10.80) a dose but the exact timing for starting the sales is yet unknown, Falus said.