H1N1 vaccines for high risk people

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pretoria - National immunization campaigns for the H1NI influenza will be rolled out countrywide for people who are at high risk.

The Department of Health said the two national campaigns will be conducted between March and May, focusing on health workers and pregnant women.

"We have 1.3 million doses of H1N1 vaccines and have been given another 3.5 million by the World Health Organisation," the department said on Wednesday.

The first round of immunization for frontline clinicians in casualty, ICU and Emergency Medical Services personnel and children under the age of 15 years with HIV and AIDS will take place between 15 March and 31 May.

The second round of the campaign will be conducted between 3 May and 31 May for pregnant women and patients attending specialist heart and lung disease clinics.

The department noted that not everyone needs to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus, but advised people who attend the private health sector including international visitors to get a vaccination against influenza at the end of March before winter sets.

"We will communicate with visitors through our www.doh.gov.za website to keep them informed of health requirements and conditions and to encourage visitors to act responsibly and stay healthy," the department said.