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Swine flu jab programme "not chaotic"

Swiss health authorities have rejected criticism of their national voluntary immunisation plan against swine flu.

The head of the Federal Health Office, Thomas Zeltner, said that there was no chaos and that the programme was on schedule.

He was responding to criticism in the media and among some doctors that the national plan was uncoordinated. There have also been concerns that it had taken too long for the authorities to approve the two vaccines that would be used.

Zeltner told reporters on Monday that immunisation would be starting in most cantons in mid November. A few would be starting earlier, such as Solothurn which began giving the jabs to children with underlying health problems on Friday.

He added that logistics and the fact that orders were made at different times meant that the cantons, who are responsible for carrying out the programme, had different starting dates.

The swine flu pandemic is expected to hit Switzerland in earnest in the coming days, with confirmed cases tripling last week to around 2,000.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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