WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel, which has suffered five swine flu deaths, plans to offer a vaccine for the disease to the public by January.
The $1.8 million deal with French company Sanofi Pasteur was agreed to after negotiations with a number of pharmaceutical companies, according to Israel’s daily Ha’aretz. The government will pay for the H1N1 vaccine with special funds instead of taking money from the existing budget for subsidized medicines.
The contract also allows for Israel to reduce its order if it decides it does not need as much as originally planned.
A 50-year-old man with chronic diseases on Friday became the fifth Israeli to die from swine flu. Nearly 2,000 people have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, and it is believed as many as 20,000 Israelis have been infected with it.