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Free flu vaccine now available in Hanover

Published:Friday | April 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The Hanover Health Department has launched an initiative, inviting persons in the parish to get the flu vaccine. This comes against the background of a low take-up rate of the vaccine locally which prompted the Government to order its free distribution.

“The Flu vaccine is available at all the health ventres within the parish and its free of cost to all our clients, and you can also make arrangements to have on-site vaccination done at your work sites,” said Patricia Hall-Patterson, the chief public health inspector for Hanover, while speaking at the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

Hall-Patterson also encouraged businesses to take up the offer as this would safeguard the health of their workers and maintain business efficiency. She said that enough of the vaccine was available in the parish to assist all who were interested to take up the offer.

In a report tabled at the meeting, it was outlined that there were two factors responsible for the influenza-like illnesses being experienced in the parish.

“Generally 60 per cent to 80 per cent of influenza-like illnesses are caused by influenza and the rest by other respiratory viruses,” stated the report, which also pointed out that a mild flu could quickly turn deadly if not properly treated.

In relation to the recent dengue fever scare which attracted national concerns, Hall-Patterson said that 61 per cent of suspected cases were identified in Hanover in the first three months of 2019. She said that continuous work was being done by the health department, which showed that the aedes aegypti mosquito index was on the decrease in the parish.

“Our enhanced vector control programme was a success, and the programme continued throughout the month of March and will end in April,” said Hall-Patterson. “At the end of March 2018, the positive premises index for mosquito presence was at 21 per cent in comparison to 10 per cent for the similar period in 2019. Residents across the parish are now taking the matter of mosquito control seriously.”

There are approximately 19 health centres and one type C hospital located in Hanover.