H1N1 flu vac­ci­na­tions avail­able

Mas­sive im­mu­niza­tion clin­ics open to pub­lic next week

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY DENISE PIKE

Vac­ci­na­tions against the H1N1 virus get un­der­way Oct. 26. with the im­mu­niza­tion of health-care work­ers at var­i­ous sites through­out the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion. Mass im­mu­niza­tion for the pub­lic, in some ar­eas of the prov­ince, will be­gin next week (Nov. 2).

Res­i­dents from the Bay Roberts area can re­ceive their shots from Nov. 2 - 28 at the gym­na­sium of Amal­ga­mated Academy, while an­other clinic, set for the same date at Carbonear Col­le­giate, will be avail­able to peo­ple in that area.

Clin­ics for res­i­dents from the Up­per Trin­ity South shore, which also in­cludes the Whit­bourne and Nor­man’s Cove area, will be held at Cres­cent Col­le­giate in Blake­town Nov. 10 to Dec. 1. Vac­ci­na­tions for those from the Lower Trin­ity South shore, (Heart’s De­light to Old Per­li­can) are set for Nov. 2 to 9 at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate in Old Per­li­can .

Holy­rood res­i­dents can re­ceive their shots at Ron­calli High from Nov. 10 - 27.

The clin­ics will be open to the pub­lic be­tween 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mon­day to Satur­day. Peo­ple will not have to book ap­point­ments. The vac­ci­na­tions will be done on a large scale and de­signed to han­dle a large flow of peo­ple.

Not manda­tory

The H1N1 vac­ci­na­tion is not manda­tory, but is rec­om­mended for all res­i­dents of the prov­ince and will be of­fered free of charge. It could take about a month to com­plete.

Dr. David Al­li­son, East­ern Health’s Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health, said im­mu­niza­tion against H1N1 is a key fac­tor in con­trol­ling the spread of the dis­ease and keep­ing the num­bers of those af­fected as low as pos­si­ble.

“While im­mu­niza­tion is not manda­tory, I en­cour­age all staff and res­i­dents of our com­mu­ni­ties to take ad­van­tage of this vac­cine, pro­vided free of charge, as a preven­tion against con­tract­ing the H1N1 virus,” Dr. Al­li­son told re­porters last week.

“Doc­tors, their of­fice staff and other health-care work­ers are also en­cour­aged to come to clin­ics that have been sched­uled through­out the next few weeks.”

Mean­while Health Min­is­ter Jerome Kennedy also urges peo­ple to get im­mu­nized.

“As the Min­is­ter of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, I am com­mit­ted to up­dat­ing the peo­ple of New­found­land and Labrador on a reg­u­lar ba­sis about the sta­tus of H1N1 in the prov­ince, how our gov­ern­ment is re­spond­ing and the lat­est in­for­ma­tion avail­able,” said the Carbonear-Har­bour Grace MHA.

“ We have se­cured enough H1N1 vac­cine for any­one in the prov­ince who wants it so that we can pro­tect all of our res­i­dents against the pan­demic virus.”

High risk first

Twenty eight new cases of H1N1 were re­ported in the prov­ince last week, rais­ing the to­tal num­ber of cases since June to 145. Most of those cases were mild, and there have only been three cases that re­quired hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.

Con­sis­tent with all other ju­ris-

dic­tions, New­found­land and Labrador will re­ceive the vac­cine in stages. The first sup­ply of the H1N1 vac­cine con­tains 28,000 doses and th­ese will be dis­trib­uted to the health re­gions by the end of this week.

Im­mu­niza­tions will be­gin on a lim­ited ba­sis and will ex­pand as more vac­cine ar­rives in the prov­ince.

Based on rec­om­men­da­tions from the Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada, the vac­cine will be of­fered first to peo­ple who will ben­e­fit most from it. Th­ese groups in­clude in­di­vid­u­als un­der 65 with chronic health con­di­tions, in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing in re­mote and iso­lated set­tings or com­mu­ni­ties, chil­dren from six months to five years, health-care work­ers in­volved in pan­demic re­sponse or the de­liv­ery of es­sen­tial health care ser­vices, preg­nant women, care­givers of per­sons at high risk who can­not be im­mu­nized or may not re­spond to vaccines, and pop­u­la­tions oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied as high risk.

Nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents

Along with im­mu­niz­ing health care work­ers, this week East­ern Health be­gan of­fer­ing site-spe­cific im­mu­niza­tion pro­grams to more vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, such as those at the Na­tive Friend­ship Cen­tre, the Gath­er­ing Place and the As­so­ci­a­tion for New Cana­di­ans.

The New­found­land and Labrador Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion sup­ports the idea of mass clin­ics through­out the prov­ince.

Dr. Ly­dia Hatcher says she will be avail­ing of the vac­cine and sus­pects most of her col­leagues will as well.

“If doc­tors had to vac­ci­nate pa­tients at their prac­tices, they would be do­ing noth­ing but vac­ci­nat­ing 50 or 60 peo­ple per day and not be able to pro­vide reg­u­lar med­i­cal ser­vices,” says Hatcher.

The H1N1 vac­cine in Canada is an ad­ju­vanted vac­cine, which means it con­tains a sub­stance that pro­vides a more rapid and in­creased im­mune re­sponse to the virus. The ad­ju­vant in Canada’s H1N1 vac­cine is made up of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents such as wa­ter, oil and vi­ta­mins.

Daniel MacEac­hearn/The Com­pass CLINIC SITE - Carbonear Col­le­giate is one of sev­eral des­ig­nated sites in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Bay area where res­i­dents can re­ceive a vac­ci­na­tion against the H1N1 virus.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.