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Finland Offers Bird Flu Vaccine to Farm Workers

By Rishma Parpia

Public health officials in Finland are preparing to offer H5N1 influenza (also known as avian influenza or bird flu) vaccines to people at who they believe are at risk of exposure to an avian influenza strain spreading among farmed and wild animals. Finland is the first country to administer avian influenza vaccines to certain populations of the general public.1

The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which is the European Union’s (EU) health crisis authority, signed a contract with CSL Seqirus, the manufacturer of the H5N1 vaccine, to secure 665,00 doses of its H5N1 flu vaccine to be distributed to 15 European countries. The first doses will be shipped to Finland.2

CSL Seqirus’ head of global medicine strategy, Raja Rajaram, said in a press release…

While the [European CDC] assesses the risk of infection from avian influenza to be low for the general population, it considers people with activities that expose them to infected animals or a contaminated environment at low-medium risk.3

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