Row brewing over Swine flu "over reaction"

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Row brewing over Swine flu "over reaction"

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France’s government has been accused of over-reacting to the threat of Swine flu and of wasting tax payers’ money.

The criticism comes from the opposition as the government confirmed it was selling off excess doses of the vaccine.

Originally the Health Ministry bought 94 million vaccinations at a cost of over 800 million euros but so far only five million doses have been used.

And a single jab not a double one has turned out to be sufficient.

France’s Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot has fended off the criticism by revealing that countries are being sought to sell on the unused vaccines – 300,000 shots have already gone to Qatar.

France is not alone in finding itself with an embarrassment of the vaccine – Germany and the Netherlands are selling off their excess stocks while the UK and Italy are considering the situation.

Socialist MP Jean Marie Guen was highly critical of the French government.

“From the very beginning both scientists and politicians warned the government they were over dramatising the situation, over communicating and were buying too much vaccine,” he said.

On mainland France, Swine flu has killed an estimated 198 people but according to data released last month doctors now say new infections have fallen sharply in recent weeks.