Mass swine flu vaccination begins in Turkey on Monday
Following tests of swine flu vaccines imported from a foreign drug company, Turkey is set to launch a mass immunization program on Monday against the pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus, officials said, Anadolu reported.
Health Ministry officials said around 350,000 at-risk people, including health care workers and Turkish pilgrims who would travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, would be vaccinated in the first phase of program. Mass vaccination of school children would begin at the end of November, officials said.
Swine flu vaccines would be injected, officials said. Nasal spray vaccines, the ones used in the United States, will not be used in Turkey.
Turkey ordered first shots of swine flu vaccines from Switzerland-based drug company Novartis. First part, 500,000 doses, will be distributed to provinces on Monday.
Pregnant women in Turkey will get a special form of swine flu vaccine. Turkey will import 1 million doses which do not contain "adjuvant" for pregnant women. Adjuvant-free vaccines would arrive in Turkey in December, officials said.
Turkey detected over 1,500 swine flu cases since May and three fatalities reported so far.