H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Campaign: It's not too Late to be Vaccinated
The Western Cape Department of Health is making the H1N1 Influenza vaccine more widely available now that more stock is available.
The campaign was launched in April and phased in based on the limited availability of the vaccine in the country at the time.
The influenza vaccine will boost immunity against the pandemic influenza 2009 virus.
The annual influenza season has already started, but it is not too late to be vaccinated. The Department urges the public to consider being vaccinated within the next eight days.
The limited stocks meant we had to originally prioritise people at risk of developing severe disease, patients with chronic lung disease, pregnant women, health workers, officials at ports of entry, and children and adults with HIV/AIDS on ARV.
The following groups of people should seriously consider getting vaccinated this week:
- the elderly (65 years and above),
- all children from six months to adolescents of 20 years (without illness)
- people with diabetes
Western Cape provincial health minister, Theuns Botha, said: "This is a great opportunity for patients with low immunity, and especially people who run the risk of contracting pneumonia to ensure they do not contract the H1N1 virus. "Only a year ago, our hospitals were crowded by patients with the flu, but vaccines were unavailable at that stage for the pandemic virus. Now we have the vaccines - take the opportunity."
The vaccination is available, free of charge, at public hospitals, community health centres and clinics.
Important note to the public:
When you present yourself at the relevant healthcare facilities you will first be provided with information on influenza vaccination, before receiving the vaccination. There are, however, people who should not receive the influenza vaccine. These include children younger than 6 months, and people with a history of hypersensitive reaction following receipt of any vaccine component including neomycin or polymyxin antibiotics. If you have a history of severe reaction to previous influenza vaccination or allergy to eggs, please consult with the health worker before administering the vaccination. Protection from the vaccine lasts for an average of one year.
In order to reach the targeted groups the Department plans to use all measures which may include door-to-door campaigns, vaccination at pension pay points, old age homes, and schools.
Western Cape Department of Health
Cell: 071 315 3581