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Extra Government Cash For Vaccine

Published tisdag 25 augusti 2009 kl 09.40
Sales of anti-bacterial hand products on Apoteket's web shop site have sold out

After months of speculation, the Swedish Government has announced that it will give extra money to the health authorities, to help them pay for the mass vaccination against Swine Flu.

The Swine Flu vaccine is expected to arrive in Sweden in about a month's time, and enough vaccine has been ordered to inocculate everybody in the country with the two required doses.

Last week, the central body for the country's regional health authorities recommended that the vaccine should be given free of charge to patients, since it is the most effective way to stop the virus from spreading.

Now the Government has announced that it will give 142 billion US dollars to help pay for the campaign. This only covers part of the cost for the vaccine and in Stockholm only a quarter of the expected costs.

But the Minister for Health, Maria Larsson, says that the health authorities will have to find money in their current budgets. The extra money is only because the pandemic is expected to arrive in the midst of a financial crisis. "It is an extraordinary situation that requires extraordinary measures," she said.

Meanwhile, fears of the pandemic has seen the web shop of the country's state run pharmacy monopoly Apoteket run out of anti-bacterial hand wipes, bottles of alcohol based disinfectants and similar products. Even if you go to a pharmacy shop, some of the shelves are empty. But pharmacists are telling Swedes not to worry, saying good old soap and water is protection enough.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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