France sells surplus flu vaccine5th January 2010
France is now selling its surplus swine flu vaccine doses to other nations worldwide.
According to official sources, the country's health authorities found that they had more than enough swine flu vaccines.
According to recent French research, two doses of the vaccine are not necessary, as was originally believed.
Researchers at the University of Aix-Marseille said that of more than 1,000 pregnant female study subjects examined during regular first trimester check-ups, 10% showed traces of swine flu antibodies.
Using statistical methods, they concluded that more than 1.7 million people between the ages of 20 and 39 in mainland France had been infected.
The figure the researchers derived suggests that four out of five cases of swine flu in France either went unreported or did not show significant symptoms.
Germany has also decided to cut the amount of swine flu it ordered from GlaxoSmithKline.
The country's initial order of 50 million doses was also based on the belief that one shot of the vaccine might not be enough to guarantee protection from the virus.
The country's health ministry said that 25 million doses would be enough to protect its population.
France has now sold 300,000 of its doses to Qatar, and will sell 2 million to Egypt.
Plans to sell the vaccine to Ukraine and Mexico are under way.
Xavier de Lamballerie of the University of Aix-Marseille, who led the recent study, said that the number of people infected by swine flu was higher than researchers would have estimated.
He said that, while there were more people for whom the flu was less serious and asymptomatic, there were also people who had serious or very serious forms of the disease.
Swine flu is related to the flu strain that caused outbreaks of influenza until the flu pandemic of 1957, and earlier studies have shown that some older people have carried over an immunity to it.
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Title: France sells surplus flu vaccine
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 13616
Date Added: 5th Jan 2010