Roma, October 26 - A free hotline set up by the Italian health ministry for information on this season's flu vaccine was flooded by calls on its first day in operation, authorities said Friday. The service received over 1,000 calls in the first three hours after opening by Italians "mostly seeking advice on which vaccination should be used for their children and elderly parents," Giulia Arduino, director of the hotline, said. So far no calls have been received by citizens who have been vaccinated with the recently recalled Novartis flu shot, Arduino said. On average, 10 to 12 million Italians receive flu shots annually.
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di Giovanni Pastore