Regualar flu jabs now available swine flu soon come

| 04/10/2009

(CNS):  Although the Swine flu vaccine is unlikely to be available in the Cayman Islands before next month the Health Services Authority said it does have this year’s seasonal flu vaccine which is available at the Cayman Islands Hospital, District Health Centres, Faith Hospital and Little Cayman clinic from Tuesday 7 October. Dr. Kiran Kumar explained there will be two types of vaccine offered this year —  one for the season or regular flu and the other for the 2009 H1N1 flu.

Dr. Kumar said the seasonal flu vaccine will not provide protection against the 2009 H1N1 flu and that the H1N1 vaccine is expected to become available in the Cayman Islands in late October or November.  The regular flu vaccine will be available at: The General Practice Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and all District Health Centres, from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Little Cayman Clinic. Residents of Little Cayman should contact the clinic to make arrangements.

The flu vaccine is free to everyone and no appointments are necessary, however persons should indicate to the registration officer at the clinic that they need to have the flu shot.

“We recommend that people get vaccinated as soon as possible and definitely before the peak of the flu season which ranges between December and January,” Dr. Kumar says.

Dr. Kumar said that the vaccine is only effective for one season. Therefore, people at high risk for complications from influenza and those who live with or care for high-risk persons should be vaccinated early each year.  To ensure that these groups are protected the flu vaccine will offered to the following priority groups from October 7 to 20:

Young children 6 months to four years of age

Pregnant women (with prescription from Obstetrician)

People 65 years of age and older

Persons of any age with weakened immune systems and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart, kidney and lung diseases and diabetes.

People living in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.  From October 21 until supplies have been exhausted, the vaccine will be available to the general public.

“To minimize workplace disruption and ensure that as many persons as possible get vaccinated, I am also pleased to announce that our Public Health Department will continue our program of  onsite workplace vaccination initiative for companies with ten or more employees wishing to have the vaccine” Dr. Kumar added.  Companies interested in the program should contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 to register.


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