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Canada donating excess H1N1 vaccine

Jan. 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM

OTTAWA, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Canada is donating five million excess H1N1 flu vaccine doses to the World Health Organization, the federal health minister announced in Ottawa Thursday.

Minister Leona Aglukkaq made the announcement a day after public health officials declared the second wave of the flu, originally called swine flu, over.

The government ordered 50.4 million doses for its 33.8 million citizens from GlaxoSmithKline after the virus surfaced in Mexico last March, as it wasn't initially known if just one shot would be enough.

Officials estimate 45 percent of Canadians took advantage of the free shot.

Only one case of H1N1 flu was reported across Canada in the last three weeks, officials said.

Aglukkaq said Canada would also donate $6 million to WHO's pandemic relief efforts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.

As for the vaccine donation, Canada is three months behind numerous other countries that began offering vaccines to the international health agency trying to help 95 affected countries, the Canwest News Service said.

The H1N1 outbreak is still prevalent in Eastern Europe, South Asia and North Africa, the report said.

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