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Manufacture of Vaccines to End in Finland

The National Public Health Institute is to stop the manufacture of vaccines for tetanus, whooping cough and diptheria by the beginning of next year. The move marks the end of a century of vaccine manufacture in Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports.

Problems with the Institute's vaccine for whooping cough have caused problems. The old-fashioned vaccine has caused serious side effects for thousands of small children. One in four child recipients suffer from a slight fever.

More recent vaccines no longer contain complete dead bacteria but rather essential antibodies.

An end to Finnish vaccine manufacture means the arrival of those manufactured by large international pharmaceutical companies. Newer combined vaccines will also be taken into use.

The present triple vaccine for diptheria, whooping cough and tetanus will be replaced in 2005 by a combination of separate vaccines. This will also protect against polio and a type of influenza.

Introduction of the new vaccine will reduce the number of innoculations needed. In future, children will receive only five injections during their first two years of life, compared to the current 12.