Netanyahu Orders Swine Flu Vaccine

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved the purchase of vaccine to immunize Israelis against the H1N1 virus, when it becomes available.

The prime minister met with Deputy Health Minister Yaacov Litzman on Wednesday evening to discuss the details of the purchase.

"This decision places Israel I line with the leading countries of the world on the issue of future supplies of influenza vaccines," a statement by Netanyahu read.

"In this context, it is important to emphasize that H1N1 vaccines are still undergoing development and are not yet on the shelf. The vaccines will be delivered to various countries, including Israel, only after development is concluded in a few months."

Some 500 Australians agreed to test a vaccine jointly developed by the CSL and Vaxine pharmaceutical firms.

Over the weekend, Shimon Azran, 35, was the first Israeli to succumb to complications from the virus. Doctors noted that he was both overweight and a smoker. Azran died at Yoseflal Hosptial in Eilat.

To date, about 1,500 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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