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PIA Press Release

1,179 Kalinga health workers to be given AH1N1 vaccines

by Larry Lopez

Tabuk, Kalinga (29 May) -- About 1, 179 health workers in various hospitals, rural health units and barangays in the province are scheduled for AH1N1 vaccination in the first round of immunization by the Department of Health (DOH).

The first round has targeted health workers because they are at the frontline in attending AH1N1 cases and are exposed to risk from people infected with the virus.

Next in the round of priority are children aging 6 months-5 years old, pregnant mothers and adults from 60 years old and above.

The massive immunization against Influenza A is under the preventive campaign by the World Health Organization (WHO) that provided the vaccines that is given free.

Influenza A or AH1N1 is a new virus caused by the re-assortment of four viruses from pigs, humans and birds and was first detected in persons in April 2009 in America. The virus spreads from person to person and can be fatal due to severe respiratory distress.

Its signs and symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, lack of appetite, runny nose, sore throat and cough. In some cases, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting can be present too.

The virus can be transmitted through direct exposure to droplets when an infected person coughs and sneezes and through touching one's mouth, nose or eyes after touching infected things.

Last year, the AH1N1 scare spread all through out many countries, prompting the WHO to call for international solidarity to provide fair and equitable access to the vaccines.

The target of WHO in the first round of immunization is to provide vaccines to at least 10% of the population among requesting countries.

People who have contacted the virus do not develop lifetime immunity and should still be vaccinated. The vaccine has been proven to be effective but it is still under study as to how long will it stay effective in the body.

Since funds for the vaccines come from donations, WHO hopes to provide the rest of the population with more vaccines in due time to assure wider protection worldwide. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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