First lot of H1N1 vaccine arrives

Confirming that the vaccine was received on March 16, State Surveillance Unit deputy director Vasudeva Murthy said the  organisation needed to make an action plan to carry out the vaccination procedure.

“The vaccine is under cold chain reaction now and we need an action plan to start the vaccination process as soon as possible,” he said. Tamil Nadu and Kerala have also received their share of the vaccine vials.

Murthy said ideally health workers will be the first ones to get vaccinated. There are around 54,000 health workers in government hospitals and the vaccination process should begin with them.

“We will not force anyone to get vaccinated. It will be optional and will be given to only those who volunteers,” he said. The State Health Department is aiming at completing the vaccination process by November as vaccines have a shelf life. “We will start the vaccination process in a week after discussing with district and block health officers,” he said.

Side-effects

Murthy said the vaccine has non-allergic minimal side effects. "Once a person gets vaccinated, he/she will have fever, headache and muscle pain for three to four days, which will eventually subside. Females may have vomiting sensation," he said. 

The side effects are based on reaction caused on people in the US where they have undergone vaccination. "Indians are immune to such side effects," Murthy explained.
Vaccination will be carried out using 'auto disabled syringes' which can be used only once. These syringes get locked and become non-reusable after the first vaccination process.

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