Thu | Nov 30, 2023

Vulnerable groups encouraged to take flu vaccine

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2023 | 3:24 PM
The vaccine is offered free of cost in the public health system to high-priority groups.

Vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and children, as well as front-line healthcare workers are being encouraged to get the influenza vaccine.

The influenza season normally starts in October.

The flu is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person, mainly by coughing, sneezing and through close contact.

Speaking on the JIS Television Programme, 'Get the Facts', Director, Family Health Services, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Julia Rowe Porter, informed that the virus can cause severe illness and death, especially in vulnerable groups such as young children, the elderly, and persons with chronic illnesses.

She also mentioned that healthcare workers who take care of ill persons can transmit the virus to their sick patients.

“So, we target those vulnerable groups during the flu season, which starts about October and can last into next year, as late as May, and we ask that those persons go to their health centres. The flu vaccine is available at all vaccination points, over 300 across the island and even some hospitals have clinics, so they can get the vaccines at their chronic disease clinics,” Rowe Porter said.

The Ministry has purchased 18,000 doses of the flu vaccine through the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) Revolving Fund for Vaccines.

The vaccine is offered free of cost in the public health system to high-priority groups, including healthcare workers, children and elderly with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, individuals who are institutionalised or in State care, and non-health front-line workers.

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