Swiss to share H1N1 vaccines
The Swiss government has said it will participate in a United States-led programme to provide vaccines against the A/H1N1 virus to developing countries.
On Friday, the Federal Health Office announced it had purchased 13 million doses against the virus, commonly known as swine flu, from drug makers Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.
The vaccine sharing plan, initiated by the United States, will make at least ten per cent of doses available to the World Health Organization (WHO) for poor countries.
"Developing countries should be supplied with vaccines in parallel with industrialised countries," the Health Office said in a statement.
Switzerland has pledged $4.8 million (SFr5 million) to procure the vaccines and is in negotiations with producers, it said.
Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, and Britain are also participating in the programme.
The WHO said on Friday that vaccine production would be "substantially less" than the 4.9 billion doses previously forecast. Weekly production will be less than 94 million doses, a WHO spokesman said.
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