Nick Miller and Julia Medew
The Age 
Friday, August 21, 2009
LEADING infectious disease experts have called on the Federal Government to abandon its mass swine-flu vaccination plan because of fears the vaccine is a contamination risk that could spread blood-borne diseases.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon yesterday announced that the Government would start deploying its first batch of swine-flu vaccine in coming weeks, with an aim to vaccinate as many people as possible to prevent further spread of the virus.
But in a letter sent to Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases expresses deep concern about CSL’s use of multi-dose vials for the vaccine and urged the Government to abandon its plan until it had single-dose vials.
The letter, written by the Society’s president, Associate Professor Tom Gottlieb, says multi-dose vials – bottles containing many doses of the vaccine – had been shown on many occasions to transmit infectious diseases, ”resulting in considerable morbidity and mortality”.