Cuba to give flu shots to over 600,000 people

November 20th, 2011 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, Nov 20 (IANS/EFE) Cuba will kick off a vaccination campaign against the flu Monday that will treat more than 600,000 people susceptible to respiratory ailments.

The official daily Granma said Saturday that seasonal flu shots will be administered by the public health system with a single injectable dose that will provide protection against the pandemic respiratory virus H1N1, the seasonal H3N2 virus and the influenza B virus.

The campaign will continue until Dec 21 with flu shots available to Cubans over age 85 - some 160,000 people - and also to vulnerable members of the population at any age.

The programme will provide vaccinations for people in homes for the elderly and the disabled, in psychiatric hospitals and those suffering critical heart, kidney, liver and blood conditions, among others.

The immunisation campaign will also treat asthmatics and diabetics between the ages of 15 and 24, pregnant women, workers on livestock and poultry farms, and medical personnel treating seriously ill patients, working in labs or providing respiration services.

Granma warned that between October and March the island typically has “a rising number of acute respiratory ailments” of a “seasonal nature”, and adds that among them it is basically the influenza virus that constitutes the greatest health problem.


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