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Swine flu vaccine suffers delay

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09:12 CET+01:00
A delivery of 500,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine has been delayed. Health authorities now expect supply shortages during the week.

"Yes, it is unfortunate. There will be interruptions in the planning and demand remains in excess of supply," Göran Stiernstedt at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

A delivery of 460,000 doses was due to be sent by Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) to Sweden in the beginning of next week. The shipment would then be divided among Sweden's municipalities according to population density.

A further delivery of 658,000 doses were scheduled for a couple of days later. Both deliveries are now set to be delayed.

Jonas Vikman, head of information at the pharmaceutical giant in Sweden, confirmed the delay.

The information was sent out to local health authorities on Friday, but since then Vikman says he has received information that the company will be able to send half of the expected doses during the week.

"Yes. In round figures around half," Vikman said to the TT news agency.

He explained that the delay is due to external controls that have taken longer than anticipated.

SALAR hopes that the delivery of the vaccines will arrive at the latest during the following week. They are also hopeful that additional doses will arrive.

GSK is however unable to confirm when the delayed shipment will arrive.

"We will be in contact as soon as we know," Vikman said.

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