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Swine flu vaccine programme in EU speeds up

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Swine flu vaccine programme in EU speeds up

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One EU citizen in three could be infected by the H1N1 flu in the coming months. This is the warning issued by the European Health Commissioner Andreoulla Vassiliou in an interview with the German daily Die Welt.

Germany and Portugal have begun their vaccination programmes. German authorities have ordered 50 million doses of swine flu vaccines. Portuguese health officials have announced a restricted amount of people from three priority groups would receive their jab in the initial phase.

One nurse said, “We’ve been answering a lot of doubts over the phone. People want to know if they are in risk groups and when they can come to get the vaccine. Another official said, “It’s the first time in history that we have the possibility to take a vaccine before the pandemic.”

The priority groups include pregnant women, health workers considered indispensible and 30,000 professionals from other sectors that are thought essential for the functioning of society, including members of the government.