Colds and flu

16 April 2010

H1N1 vaccine for high risk groups

A nationwide vaccination campaign to immunise persons at high risk of catching the H1N1 virus this winter will be conducted in phases, the department of health said.

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A nationwide vaccination campaign to immunise persons at high risk of catching the H1N1 virus this winter will be conducted in phases, the department of health said on Thursday.

People who qualify for the vaccination are children under the age of 15 and adults living with HIV, front line workers at ports of entry, pregnant women and hospital staff, it said in a statement.

"Children under 15 and workers at airports and other ports of entry would qualify for the first phase of the operation throughout April and May."

Pregnant, health workers and HIV+

The second phase would begin in May and applied to pregnant women, health workers and adults with HIV, the department said.

"We have 200,000 doses at present and we aim to cover children with HIV and Aids first as they are high at risk.

"We will be receiving more doses in May."

No shortages

The ministry said there were no shortages of the H1N1 vaccine despite media reports to the contrary.

"There is no shortage in the public health sector. 

"People who are to be vaccinated are those who are at risk of severe diseases - not everyone needs to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. " - (Sapa, April 2010)

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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