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Health Care Staff to Receive Swine Flu Vaccine Next Week

Health care staff are heading the queue of those to receive vaccinations against the H1N1 swine flu virus at the end of October and in the first week of November. Some doses of the vaccine have already arrived in central Finland and staff there will receive their inoculations next week.

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Special Researcher Rose-Marie Ölander of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) estimates it will take two weeks to vaccinate health care staff. Next in line will be those belonging to risk groups such as expectant mothers.

Some 170,000 doses of the vaccine are already in Finland with similar numbers arriving every week.

Ölander says the vaccine is being distributed from medical wholesalers to the around 140 hospital pharmacies and medicinal centers in Finland. Vaccines are then passed on to health centers and hospitals for use.

The first wave of the H1N1 swine flu virus has already arrived in Finland and the peak of the epidemic is expected within four to six weeks.

Special Researcher Rose-Marie Ölander says the vaccine can be given during the epidemic to those who have not yet succumbed to infection. It takes about two weeks from the time of inoculation for the vaccine to provide protection.

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