Government decides against using untested Flu vaccine

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How to reduce your chances of catching or spreading the swine flu virusIn a press conference held today by Parliamentary Secretary, Mario Galea, it was announced that Malta had decided that it is not ready to take any unnecessary risk with an untested A (H1N1) virus vaccine, which is due to be available shortly. This decision had been taken after discussions with the National Pandemic Department.

Four companies are set to launch A (H1N1) virus vaccine in the market before the winter season. The vaccine is yet to be certified as safe.

The World Health Organisation, Assistant Director General for Health, Dr Keiji Fukuda raised his concerns about the potential danger of untested vaccines and said that vaccine safety should never be compromised.

The countries, which accepted the vaccine, the UK, France, Greece and Sweden, will be solely responsible for any side effects.

Dr Ray Busuttil, Director General of Health confirmed 168 H1N1 cases in which 115 patients have fully recovered. People who are at risk are being tested, so that does not include others being infected. He also stressed that pregnant women are proving the most vulnerable to be infected by the H1N1 virus and should contact their doctor immediately if they have any symptoms of influenza.

In January, a vaccine certified with a ‘safety profile’ will be launched in the market and Malta has placed and order for 500,000 doses, Mario Galea said.

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