ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will vaccinate its entire population of 12 million against the H1N1 swine flu pandemic which has swept around the world in weeks, killing hundreds of people, the country’s health minister said on Friday.
Greece has already earmarked 40 million euros for vaccines and has placed orders with Novartis, Glaxo and Sanofi for 8 million vaccine doses, to be received gradually by January.
Vaccine experts say people will likely need two doses of vaccine to be protected from H1N1 swine flu, so Greece would need a total of 24 million doses to vaccinate its entire population. Other countries are taking similar steps.
“Greece will order 16 million more doses from the same companies in the future,” a health ministry official who declined to be named told Reuters. “We are only waiting for the European Union’s approval to start vaccinating everyone.”