Canada: Excess H1N1 vaccine could be sold, kept in reserve
Excess H1N1 vaccine could be sold, kept in reserve
Federal officials will be deciding soon what to do with millions of doses of excess H1N1 vaccine while at the same time still trying to convince Canadians to roll up their sleeves.
“Early in the new year we’ll be making a decision on that. But our priority is to get the vaccine to Canadians,” Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a year-end interview with Canwest News Service.
Unless significantly more Canadians decide they want the vaccine, the country is poised to have more than 20 million unused doses at the end of this flu season in April.
About 45 per cent of the population has been vaccinated since the H1N1 shot became available across the country on Oct. 26.
Demand for the vaccine slowed down so much by late December, however, that the provinces asked the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to stop sending them shipments. They already had received thousands of doses that weren’t needed by local public health units and instead were put in storage. […]