Mongolia is first country to get donated vaccine
Mongolia yesterday became the first developing country to receive donated doses of H1N1 vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Voice of America reported. The first 35 countries on the list to receive vaccine should all get supplies within the next month, WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander told VOA. Azerbaijan and Afghanistan are expected to receive doses within days. The WHO has received pledges for 190 million doses from 14 countries.
Jan 7 VOA report
Minority groups hit hard by H1N1
African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian residents of Wisconsin were hospitalized for H1N1 flu at much higher rates than whites, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Data from Milwaukee and the state show hospitalization rates for whites of 11 to 14 per 100,000, compared with 28 to 38 per 100,000 for blacks, 30 to 32 per 100,000 for Hispanics, and 35 per 100,000 for American Indians.
Jan 7 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story
UK considering unloading surplus vaccine
The British government is looking at ways to "offload" millions of doses of H1N1 vaccine because a third wave of cases is deemed unlikely, the BBC News reported today. Options include selling the surplus doses or giving them to poor countries, but a stockpile will be kept. The government bought 60 million doses from GlaxoSmithKline and 30 million from Baxter. So far, 23.9 million doses of GSK vaccine and 5 million doses of Baxter vaccine have been delivered.
Jan 8 BBC News report
China offers free flu shots for holiday
China's Ministry of Health said today that the government will fund free H1N1 flu vaccinations for all children in the country who are less than 3 years old. The central government made the move in anticipation of Lunar New Year celebrations, when millions of people travel to visit relatives. China has vaccinated 51.4 million residents so far.
Jan 8 Agence France-Presse story
Hockey team invites fans to take a shot
The Missouri Mavericks, a minor league hockey team in Independence, Mo., are offering a special incentive for fans to attend their game tomorrow: free H1N1 flu shots. The team plans to set up a vaccination table for their game with the Arizona Sundogs, the Associated Press reported. Anyone wanting the immunization must be older than 18 or be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Jan 8 AP report