DoH to roll out A(H1N1) vaccines
Posted September 24, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 19:32:00 09/23/2009
Filed Under: Health, Government offices & agencies
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DoH) roll out the first batch of A(H1N1) flu vaccines this week.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said high-risk individuals and frontline health workers will be prioritized.
Duque said the country’s task force against H1N1 will meet next week to discuss the vaccincation strategy to combat the pandemic flu, which has infected thousands in 150 countries.
Duque said in a statement that World Health Organization (WHO) director general Margaret Chan vowed to obtain donations and funding for procurement of at least 300 million doses of vaccine against A(H1N1) virus.
This will be enough to cover 15 percent of the population in developing countries, such as the Philippines, according to DoH.
”We will give the highest priority to vulnerable groups such as frontline health workers, pregnant women, people with co-morbid conditions as well as the very young and the very old with weak immune system, ” Duque said during the 60th session of the WHO Regional Committee Meeting for the Western Pacific in Hong Kong.
The said groups with weak immune system will be prioritized for vaccinations because their vulnerability to the H1N1 virus can lead them to develop seruous respiratory complications and worse, death while health workers need protection since they are in close contact with the infected, said Duque.
DoH has ordered P100 million worth of pandemic vaccines that will immunize the country’s health workers to augment vaccine donations from the WHO and wealthy countries such as the United States, Australia, Japan and European Union member countries.