Macau, China, 11 Jun – The government will spend 100 million patacas ( US$ 12.5 million) on the purchase of one million doses of A (H1N1) vaccines, Health Bureau (SSM) Director Lei Chin Ion announced Wednesday.
Lei Chin Ion said the order was enough to provide two doses per resident.
At the end of March, Macau had 546,200 inhabitants, according to the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
The SSM director made the announcement after the first meeting of the interdepartmental flu coordination centre, which was set up by Chief Executive Edmundo Ho Hau Wah on Monday.
Edmund Ho will return Friday from a three-day trip to a Pan Pearl River Delta (PPRD) cooperation forum in Nanning, Guangxi.
Lei Chin Ion said he expected the first lot of the swine-flu vaccines to be delivered to Macau in October. He said that each dose costs between 100 to 140 patacas.
The SSM director said that the vaccination will be free for those suffering from chronic illnesses, senior citizens, children under 12 and free medical welfare recipients.
Lei Chin Ion also said that the government would raise its flu alert level only when a swine flu case has been confirmed locally.
The government raised its flu alert level to its second highest, Level 5, on May 18.
Macau has not recorded any suspected or confirmed case of swine flu so far. However, the SSM director said that due to the possible “import” of swine flu, “we believe that the first case here can happen any time.”