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Increased demand for flu vaccine in Trinidad and Tobago

By Radhica De Silva

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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Of­fi­cials of the Susamachar Pres­by­ter­ian Church have arranged for flu vac­ci­na­tions to giv­en to their con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers to­day.

Dis­trict Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Clement Rago­b­ar con­firmed that vac­ci­na­tions would be done from 4 pm at the church at Carib Street, San Fer­nan­do.

Dr Rago­b­ar said they were hop­ing to do as many as 60 vac­cines. He en­cour­aged oth­er faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions to fol­low Susamachar’s lead and arrange for their mem­bers to get vac­ci­nat­ed.

More than 75,000 dos­es of the flu vac­ci­na­tion are avail­able free of charge and nurs­ing per­son­nel at health cen­tres are work­ing as­sid­u­ous­ly to get as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble vac­ci­nat­ed.

At the Pleas­antville Health Cen­tre yes­ter­day, 150 peo­ple got the flu shot.

“Peo­ple are con­tin­u­ing to come in droves. We have closed for the day but we will re­sume vac­ci­na­tions from 8.30 am on Tues­day,” a source at the health cen­tre said.

Di­rec­tor of Health Dr Al­bert Per­saud said he was hop­ing all preg­nant women and vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens got vac­ci­na­tions be­fore Car­ni­val. With 17 lab­o­ra­to­ry con­firmed cas­es of swine flu record­ed in T&T, he said the Min­istry of Health was urg­ing cit­i­zens to get vac­ci­nat­ed.

Per­saud said he was not wor­ried that more peo­ple could con­tract the virus dur­ing the Car­ni­val sea­son be­cause he was op­ti­mistic that peo­ple would get vac­ci­nat­ed to re­duce the risk.

“I am hap­py that the pub­lic is tak­ing heed. Peo­ple are alert­ed to the fact that the H1N1 virus can no longer be seen as the sim­ple flu,” he said.

Per­saud said the South West Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty’s (SWRHA) man­ag­er of nurs­ing was en­sur­ing that all their em­ploy­ees get vac­ci­nat­ed.

“Vac­ci­na­tions are go­ing on at all health in­sti­tu­tions and we are keep­ing our fin­gers crossed. We are mak­ing every ef­fort that your risk is very much re­duced so we have vac­ci­na­tions avail­able,” he said.

Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh told Par­lia­ment last week that more than 2,000 preg­nant women had al­ready been vac­ci­nat­ed. He said there was an at­tempt at an­te­na­tal clin­ics to en­cour­age preg­nant women to ac­cept the vac­cine since it would not ad­verse­ly af­fect them or their un­born child.

The min­is­ter said three preg­nant women who were not vac­ci­nat­ed al­most died and had to be treat­ed in the In­ten­sive Care Unit.

Deyals­ingh said so far about 17,000 peo­ple had been vac­ci­nat­ed.

In south Trinidad, cas­es of swine flu have been re­port­ed at Lowkie Trace, Pe­nal, as well as Rochard Dou­glas Trace, Bar­rack­pore and in South Oropouche.

Last year, three peo­ple died from swine flu in T&T. Among them was Nicole Seecha­ran, a 47-year-old taxi dri­ver, of Tabaquite. Her rel­a­tives said it was on­ly af­ter she died that they were in­formed that the H1N1 virus was the cause of death.

More in­fo:

• Get vac­ci­nat­ed at your near­est health cen­tre.

• Avoid get­ting close to sick peo­ple, or peo­ple you sus­pect might be sick.

• Avoid touch­ing your eyes, nose and mouth as germs are spread that way.

• Wash your hands of­ten, es­pe­cial­ly be­fore eat­ing, and clean and dis­in­fect sur­faces and ob­jects that may be con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with germs like the flu.

• If you are sick, stay at home and lim­it your ex­po­sure to oth­er peo­ple to pre­vent spread­ing the flu.

• Cov­er your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

• Make sure you have an ad­e­quate sup­ply of tis­sues, soap, pa­per tow­els, al­co­hol-based hand rubs, and dis­pos­able wipes.

• If you get sick take an­ti-vi­ral drugs.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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