The World Health Organisation has predicted that every country in the world is going to need access to vaccines for the H1N1 flu virus.The organisation also says health workers should be given priority access to vaccinations to ensure health systems keep functioning as the flu pandemic, declared on June the 11th, spreads. “The countries themselves will have to take decisions that are the best adapted to their own national situations. But in terms of giving indicative consideration and guidance, a group of experts recommended first that healthcare workers should be immunised in all countries in order to maintain a functional health system as the virus evolves,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research. The WHO announcement comes as it was announced in the UK that a doctor in general practice died at the weekend after contracting the H1N1 virus. The illness, commonly known as swine flu, has so far caused mild symptoms in most patients. However, at least 400 have died worldwide and experts fear the death toll will climb steeply without a widespread immunisation programme.
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