Friday, November 6, 2009

Saudi FDA approves H1N1 vaccine ahead of haj

RIYADH-The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) approved GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine for the H1N1 flu virus on Tuesday, as the kingdom gears up to receive more than two million pilgrims at next month's haj.
"The authority ... has been following through all the phases of the production of the A (H1N1) flu vaccine by several international companies specialized in vaccines,"
the SFDA said in a statement posted on its website.
The authority added that it decided to register GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine, which is distributed under the Pandemrix brand name.
Saudi Arabia will begin a national vaccination campaign on Saturday, he said. The kingdom has a population of nearly 25 million, nearly a third of whom are expatriates.
Priority will be given to pilgrims and hospital staff, health ministry spokesman Khaled Mirghalani said.
He could not immediately say whether Saudi Arabia would buy all of its vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline...

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