Elusive flu vaccine promised by year end

| 24/12/2009

(CNS): Following the continued delay in the arrival of the Swine Flu vaccine in the Cayman Islands, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar has said, that based on assurances from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) the H1N1 10,000 does of the vaccine are expected here by the end of this month and will be available to the public in early January. Dr Kumar also sought to allay fears over recalls of the vaccine as he said it was made the same way as the seasonal vaccine but officials would be keeping an eye out for any adverse reactions.  

The minister of health who has voiced his concerns over the delay in the acquisition of the vaccine said he was relieved it would be here shortly. “The flu season is far from over, and I am very relieved that we will soon start to vaccinate our health care workers and high risk population. However, I urge people to continue to take the usual precautions such as good personal hygiene and staying home when sick,” Mark Scotland said.

The vaccine supply for the Cayman Islands is produced by Sanofi Pasteur in France, approved by WHO and European Union.

“We will receive 10,000 doses initially and we will have enough quantities to vaccinate everyone who wishes to have it as the demand will be monitored and additional supplies will be procured as needed” said Dr Kumar.

In keeping with international guidelines, the initial doses of the vaccine will be offered first to designated priority groups: health care workers and support staff to ensure there is no disruption to health care services; pregnant women in any trimester and those who are most at risk of severe disease i.e. diabetes, those with chronic respiratory, cardiac (excluding hypertension) renal, liver and neurological disease. Later, essential workers and all others will be offered the vaccine. 

In response to concerns about international media reports of recalls of certain lots of the vaccine Dr. Kumar explained that the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine is made the same way as seasonal flu vaccines, which have very good safety track records. “Any side effects that have occurred since people started receiving the 2009 H1N1 vaccine have been similar to those experienced following seasonal influenza vaccine., However the Public Health Department will be closely monitoring for any signs that the vaccine is causing unexpected adverse events and will be guided by recommendations from the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization,” he added.

Kumar said the main objective of the pandemic Influenza A H1N1 2009 vaccination campaign in the Cayman Islands is to save lives and protect those most at risk of serious infection with this new virus: the next objective is to minimize transmission by protecting as many individuals as possible.

The Public Health Department will issue advisories in the New Year on the dates and sites where the vaccines will be available. The vaccine will be provided at no cost to private practitioners interested to offer the vaccine to their patients.

Dr. Kumar is advising residents to be more informed about the safety of the vaccine by accessing relevant information produced by the Public Health Department and available at the Health Services Authority, www.gov.ky, www.hsa.ky and www.caymanprepared.ky

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I heard from a local doctor that recent findings have been such that children are at greater risk of serious complications from this flu.  Apparently an otherwise perfectly healthy teenager in Canada died recently 48 hours after coming down with what his parents thought was a cold.  My advice is if you have kids make sure they get vaccinated.  Its better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Enoch says:

    If you are a creationist you should avoid the vaccine because the science of the vaccine relies upon theories related to evolution. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have had two very serious bouts of the flu since the declaration of the H1N1 epidemic.

    Of course I believe that either or both bouts could be H1N1, however because I was told to stay at home and treat the symptoms myself I have no way of knowing if I have had H1N1.

    I am now reluctant to take the vaccine because of information leading to a recall etc.

    One thing I dont understand is whether the symptoms led to paranoia that in turn makes me think I had the H1N1 virus or that I simply had seasonal bouts of flu and still need the vaccine.

    All of this could have been different if the authorities responsible for health control had the foresight to prepare a mobile unit that could go out to the various people reporting flu symptoms and collecting samples for laboratory analysis and preparing a database that would show who needed the vaccine at this late stage.

    Now we are going to vaccinate people unnecessarily who may already be immune to the virus and run the risk of people developing complications by overdosing them with the virus.

    It just goes to show that you cant place a donkey in a horse race and expect the donkey to perform like a racehorse.

  4. Baa says:

    Whether the Swine Flu vaccine is late in arrival or not, will make little difference. Surprisingly, the symptoms of Swine Flu we are being told to watch out for are exactly the same as ordinary seasonal flu. Look for yourself, if you don’t believe that. But aside from this minor detail, the experiment has been successful. Mucho dinero was made. Pharmaceutical companies were ignored when the banks made hundreds of millions (billions) during the finanical "crisis".  They were just as big a politicalcontributor, so it hardly seemed fair.  Because the military already had it’s crisis, it was time for them to have theirs. Enter Swine Flu… for the third time.  After SAARS and the Avian Flu scare. This is called disaster capitalism. And we haven’t seen the end.  We will see more and more.  Create a crisis, with the help of a compliant and less than inquisitive media, enact legislation to make the crisis official after the public panics and demands action, form a corporate response to alleviate "the crisis", and make hundreds of billions of dollars.  And in the process chip away at civil liberties, our own common sense, and our ability to question, until there will come a time when we are driven from one crisis to the next like sheep.  Manipulating the population like a flock is A SCIENCE and it is being perfected with each new crisis. We can protect ourselves by thinking.