Gauteng rolls out H1N1 vaccination campaign

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pretoria - Health care workers and HIV positive children will be the first to be immunised against the H1N1 virus said the Gauteng Department of Health.

In preparation for the winter season as well as the beginning of the 2010 FIFA World in June, public health facilities have started immunising those deemed to be at risk.

"Nurses, intensive care unit workers, emergency services workers and doctors will be immunised against the H1N1 virus. Airport staff, pregnant women, HIV positive children under the age of 15 and patients with chronic lung and heart diseases will also benefit," the department said in a statement.

The aim of the campaign is to decrease mortality and morbidity rates as well as reduce transmission of the virus within communities, the department said.

"At the end of the campaign, the province estimates that more than three million people would have been immunized against the H1N1 virus.

"Those who do not fall under the above categories should not panic. Not everyone is at risk of contracting this virus therefore vaccination is not necessary for all citizens," said the department.

The H1N1 outbreak started in Mexico last year and rapidly spread to other countries including South Africa. Gauteng had 13 deaths resulting from the pandemic influenza.

For more details on the H1N1 virus or the campaign, members of the public are advised to call the H1N1 pandemic hotline on 086 136 4232 or send an email to H1N1@health.gov.za or visit www.doh.gov.za

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