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Brazil Emerges As Country With Highest Number of H1N1-Related Deaths

The H1N1 (swine) flu is blamed for 557 deaths in Brazil, “making it the country with the highest number of fatalities in the world from the disease,” according to the country’s health ministry, Agence France-Presse reports. “Brazil’s health ministry said in a statement the government was freeing up one billion dollars to buy 73 million doses of a new vaccine being developed against swine flu, as well as Tamiflu stocks, hospital equipment and diagnostic gear,” the news service writes (8/26).

Iran
Confirms First H1N1-Related Death

The state radio in Iran reported the country’s first fatality from H1N1 on Wednesday, Reuters reports. According to a health ministry official, 285 Iranians have been confirmed to have H1N1 flu (Hosseinian/Jaseb, 8/26).

South African Health Minister Calls On Country To Develop H1N1 Vaccine

South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday called on the country to begin producing its own H1N1 vaccine, “citing concerns treatment will not be available to poorer nations,” Reuters/News24.com reports. “South Africa does have a growing vaccine industry, but is considered by experts to be unlikely to be able to produce a swine flu vaccine any time soon,” according to the news service (8/26). Addressing the Parliament, Motsoaledi reported 5,118 cases of H1N1 and 20 deaths have been confirmed in the country, the Times reports (Boyle, 8/27).

BMJ Examines Opposition To Taking H1N1 Vaccine

The British Medical Journal reports that “questions are beginning to emerge about how many people will be prepared to take up the offer of the vaccine.” The article includes information about country plans for H1N1 vaccine distribution (Kmietowicz, 8/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.