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France

French army medics to help swine flu vaccination drive

Video by FRANCE 2

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-02

With vaccination centres across France facing endless queues filled with anxious patients, student medical interns and army doctors have been called in to help. They government has also announced that the centres will now be open seven days a week.

REUTERS -  The French government said on Tuesday vaccination centres would stay open seven days a week against six at present, and for much longer hours, to cope with a surge in demand for jabs.

France has set up some 1,200 centres and after a slow start to their vaccination campaign, doctors have reported a flood of people seeking treatment over the past week, leading to waits of several hours. Student medical interns and army doctors have been called in to help meet the huge demand.

Croatia received the first 140,000 doses of vaccine against swine flu last week and the vaccination programme started on Nov. 27. However, the interest among citizens have been relatively low so far, as many people said they were not convinced in the safety of the vaccine. Croatia has ordered some 1.5 million doses of the vaccine.

In Turkey, Emergency services, security services, utilities, transportation and communication sector workers will all be vaccinated. Schools, public transport vehicles and petrol stations have been disinfected and the worst affected schools have been closed for at least a week and lessons broadcast on local television.

Turks have responded cautiously to calls to get vaccinated, particularly since Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he would not get vaccinated.

Turkey's health minister estimated up to 1 million people had been affected and he urged citizens to get vaccinated before the virus is expected to peak in February.

Date created : 2009-12-02

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