8 Jul 2009

Niue will issue staff new swine flu vaccine

10:22 am on 8 July 2009

Niue says it plans to give a new vaccine against swine flu to its frontline health and emergency staff once it becomes available.

New Zealand has bought 300,000 doses of the new vaccine to be delivered within the month to protect key pandemic staff, a proportion of which will go to its affiliated states, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

The vaccine is not expected to be given to these workers until it's licensed by December, but if the pandemic worsens, these staff would have access to it before it's fully licensed.

Niue had no confirmed cases so far, but premier, Toke Talagi, says the vaccine is welcome.

"The pandemic is not as fierce as we had initially thought. I'm pleased about that. But we're going to continue to take precautions and we're doing that. Once the vaccine is available we'll use it for our healthworkers as well as key decision makers."