The money will go towards purchasing vaccine, anti-viral drugs, masks, gloves and gowns, as well as hiring more staff to care for the sick.
Winnipeg (11 Sept. 2009) - The Manitoba government is spending $47 million on its pandemic plan this fall, which includes mass vaccination clinics to tackle the H1H1 flu outbreak.
Dr. Joel Kettner, the province's chief provincial public health officer, said the money will be spent on vaccine, anti-viral drugs, masks, gloves and gowns, as well as to hire more staff to care for the sick. Canadian public health officials have said that a vaccine will be available by mid-November.
Details are still being worked out as to who will receive the vaccine first, Kettner said. However, First Nations people will get top priority, along with those under 65 and citizens with chronic medical conditions, he added.
The outbreak hit Manitoba First Nations especially hard last spring, prompting the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in June to declare a state of emergency.
Kettner said more than $21 million of the $47 million budgeted will be spent buying and distributing H1N1 vaccine – enough to cover 75% of the province's population.
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