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France joins Europe flu vaccine sell-off

France has joined other European countries in selling off millions of its emergency swine flu vaccines after buying far more than it needed to fight the outbreak, the government said Sunday.

"We started with a plan for two-dose vaccinations but since one dose is sufficient we can start to re-sell part of the stock," a French health ministry official told AFP.

Like some other European countries, France has witnessed less demand than expected after spending 869 million euros (1.25 billion dollars) on vaccines for the A(H1N1) flu virus.

It bought 94 million doses -- almost one and a half for every member of the population -- but so far only about five million people in France are recorded as having been vaccinated since the programme launched in October.

France took the decision to sell some of its stock after European medical authorities said that a one-off vaccination was enough to protect against the virus.
 
 

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