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30k swine flu vaccine doses now in country

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  • 30k swine flu vaccine doses now in country

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=571 align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD width=10></TD></TR><TR></TR><TR></TR><TR></TR><TR></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>30k swine flu vaccine doses now in country

    By Jimenita Swain ~ Guardian Senior Reporter ~
    After months of delay, 30,000 doses of the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine are finally in the country at a cost to the government of a quarter of a million dollars.

    Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis made the announcement yesterday during a news conference at the Ministry of Health.

    He said the vaccines arrived in the country last Wednesday.

    The vaccines were supposed to arrive since last November, but were delayed due to production challenges as a result of the worldwide demand for the drug.

    "The government has purchased influenza A H1N1 vaccines through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health will begin to administer the vaccines to those most at risk. As children and young adults continue to account for those developing the most serious forms of the illness, these two groups are among those targeted to receive the vaccination first," Dr. Minnis explained.

    "However, our priority for vaccination must remain those at highest risk for severe disease including pregnant women; all children between the ages of six months and two years; children between the ages of 10 and 19 years with underlying risk factors such as asthma and other lung diseases, heart disease, cerebral palsy and seizures; teachers of these children and finally health care workers," he added.
    He urged parents to vaccinate infants and toddlers.

    "It is important to remember that in order to be fully protected they must receive a second dose of the vaccine one month after the first," he said.
    Dr. Minnis advised parents to do everything possible to ensure a second follow-up visit - he pointed out that persons 10 years and older only require one dose of the vaccine.

    "The Department of Public Health and Grand Bahama Health Services will be offering vaccinations to all children between the ages of 10 and 19 with the stated risk factors," he said.

    "They will be vaccinating the teachers of these children at the same time to increase the protection available to our youth."

    He said members of the public responded well to the vaccination campaign for fall 2009.

    "For those of you who are concerned about this new vaccination, let me assure you that the only difference between this vaccine and the seasonal influenza vaccine is the strain of vaccine against which it is targeted," said Dr. Minnis. "The manufacturing process is the same."

    Like the seasonal vaccine, he said anyone with allergies to eggs should not accept the vaccine.

    Anyone who receives the injection should also expect pain at the injection site, slight fever and body aches are also normal, he said.

    The first phase of the vaccine process is expected to be completed within a month, he said.

    Vaccine administration schedules will be noted in the media via newspaper and electronic television and radio broadcast starting today, he added.

    Influenza, whether seasonal or pandemic, kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year, Dr. Minnis said.

    "While health officials have recently reported that the number of new influenza-like illnesses is beginning to decrease, it is still early in the influenza season and we must remain vigilant that a third wave occurs later in the season," he said.

    On the issue of countries which would have over-ordered vaccines, Dr. Minnis pointed out that France and Germany had a surplus.

    France for example has a population of 64 million and ordered 94 million vaccines at a cost of $1.2 to $1.3 billion, he said.

    "Of that 94 million vaccines, only five million was utilized, which means that there is an excess of $700-odd million that has not been utilized," he explained.

    Dr. Minnis said the government cannot afford to fall into a similar situation.

    "We would watch to see the pattern of this 30,000 and make decisions after that," he said.

    There have been 41 recorded cases of swine flu in the country.

    The vaccinations are free.

    Tuesday January 26, 2010


    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Re: 30k swine flu vaccine doses now in country

    Bahamas influenza vaccination starts next week
    Friday, January 29th, 2010

    January 29, 2010, 14:53Nassau, Jan. 29 (PL) Bahamas starting next week to vaccinate against influenza A (H1N1) to the most vulnerable groups after receiving the first 30 thousand doses of the drug two months late.

    As in other Caribbean states, this nation took in acquiring Tamiflu because of the fall of 50 per cent of world production.

    According to Health Minister Hubert Minnis, the drug will be distributed to children under two, pregnant women, elderly and people with asthma, diabetes or other chronic condition that could weaken the immune system.

    Teachers and health workers will also receive the immunization, which will be available in all health care units in the islands.

    Minnis explained that while Bermuda only records 44 cases confirmed with the disease and no new infection since last December, the virus still poses a major threat to public health in the country.

    In this regard, stressed the need for extreme hygiene measures and in particular, frequent hand washing.

    Furthermore, the World Health Organization estimated at over 14 thousand 711 deaths due to the global pandemic.

    lgo / ymr