The Union Health Ministry has begun despatching vaccines against swine flu to various states, which will immunise their health workers against the disease.

The imported vaccines have been bought from international pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteurs.

The despatch of the vaccine began from March 15 from two nodal centres in Mumbai and Delhi.

The Mumbai centre has despatched 80,400 doses to Andhra Pradesh, 15,000 to Goa, 45,600 to Kerala, 20,000 to Tamil Nadu, 23,700 to Madhya Pradesh and 1,24,200 to Karnataka since Tuesday night, an official in the Health Ministry said.

From Delhi, 65,300 doses have been sent to West Bengal, 27,000 to Bihar, 17,000 to Chattisgarh and 2,400 and 1,600 to CRPF and BSF respectively.

The Government had taken a decision to immunise groups – including health workers and para-military personnel posted at various airports - coming in close contact with those affected by swine flu.

The swine flu death toll across the country has risen to 1,415. Maharashtra accounts for 388 deaths - the highest in the country.

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