AH1N1 vaccination ongoing in Pampanga-A A +A
Saturday, September 11, 2010
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Provincial Government of Pampanga is facilitating an ongoing AH1N1 vaccination of all its employees and front-line workers to protect them from the influenza A virus.
The Provincial Government, in a press release, said even after the threat has diminished, it cannot afford to relax as the virus could strike again or even a new and more virulent strain could emerge.
Pampanga Provincial Health Office (PHO) nurse Emerita Sicat said the vaccination started in April this year after the first batch of vaccines was received from the Department of Health (DOH).
"We started by administering the vaccine to health workers -- those in the district hospitals, the municipal health offices, the barangay health workers, and the barangay emergency response teams," she said.
Sicat added these are the people who are in constant and close contact with those in the communities who could be afflicted with the disease.
"They need to have stronger immunity against the disease due to their potential exposure to it," she said.
Sicat also said the health workers were also responsible in determining who the qualified recipients of the vaccines would be since they are the ones immersed in the communities.
Also vaccinated are 40 percent of Pampanga's pregnant women in their second or third trimester and children aged six months to below five years, because "these are the groups that have particularly low resistance against diseases."
The PHO staff administering the vaccination cautioned that people with a history of anaphylaxis or those who have hypersensitive reactions or other life-threatening reactions to any of the constituents or trace residues of the vaccine, as well as those with a history of a severe reaction to previous influenza vaccinations should not receive the vaccine.
Also discouraged are those who developed Guilliard-Barre Syndrome (GSB) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine; children less than six months of age because inactivated influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group; and people who have a moderate to severe illness with a fever.
The PHO said those who have moderate to severe illness with a fever should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.
The health office said another batch of vaccines will arrive soon, but those administering it still have to undergo another orientation because "it will be in the form for dilution," as compared to the first batch which was delivered already in its diluted form.
Sicat said the vaccine provides one-year immunity against the disease. (IOF)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 12, 2010.