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Illinois shops flu vaccine overseas

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asking the federal government's permission to buy 30,000 doses of flu vaccine from European manufacturers.

The Democrat said he would contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Monday to seek permission and funding for extra vaccines at a price he already negotiated of $7 per dose, the New York Times said.

Blagojevich said the shipment would be directed toward Illinois nursing homes where about 100,000 seniors live.

The governor requested the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allow Illinois to use federal money to buy the extra shots, but if the CDC refuses, the state will cover all costs itself, he said.

Some 46 million additional doses to be provided by the California-based Chiron Corp., were condemned because of concerns about bacterial contamination at the company's factory in Liverpool, England.

Abby Ottenhoff, a Blagojevich aide, said the 30,000 doses the state wanted were produced by Aventis Pasteur's plant in Lyon, France, and had been intended for use by people in Europe and Canada, where supplies are at least adequate.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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