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NZ joins Australia on Pacific swine flu aid

NZ joins Australia on Pacific swine flu aid article image
New Zealand has agreed to contribute NZ$420,000 to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to assist distribution of the swine flu vaccine to the Asia-Pacific region. In September, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Health Minister Nicole Roxon pledged to donate up to 10 percent of our pandemic (H1N1) vaccine to the WHO for use in Pacific Island countries, including Papua New Guinea and East Timor. Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith welcomes New Zealand's support, which will enable the purchase of syringes and sharps bins. "Trans-Tasman collaboration on this issue reflects a shared recognition of the challenges faced by developing countries in responding to pandemics," he said in a statement. "Australia and New Zealand will continue to coordinate closely with the WHO to ensure vaccines reach the people who need them the most."

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