Jamaica News, January 26, 2018 (Mckoy’s News)
Kingston, Jamaica (JIS) Flu Vaccine: vulnerable Groups Encouraged to Get Flu VaccineThe Ministry of Health is encouraging persons in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children and pregnant women, to get the influenza vaccine.
Principal Medical Officer and National Epidemiologist in the Ministry, Dr. Karen Webster-Kerr, told JIS News that over 20,000 doses of the vaccine were purchased in adult and paediatric formulations in preparation for the flu season and, so far, 15,000 have been distributed.
Director, Health Promotion and Protection Branch in the Ministry, Dr. Beverley Wright, noted that take-up of the vaccine has been good, so far. However, she stressed the need for persons with chronic illnesses, the elderly, pregnant women and healthcare workers to get vaccinated.
She noted that while the vaccine may not prevent persons from contracting the influenza virus, it will protect them against more aggressive strains.
Dr. Wright is encouraging persons to practise proper hygiene to prevent themselves and others from getting the flu.
These include washing hands regularly and keeping hands away from the eyes, nose, and mouth.
For those already with the flu, she advises them to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to properly discard the used tissue. Also, shared items and surfaces should be disinfected regularly to minimise the likelihood of spreading the virus.
Dr. Wright said infected persons should stay home while they recover. “Do not take the virus into the office or classroom and put your colleagues at risk if you can avoid doing so,” she said.
The Ministry of Health last year introduced the No Germs Round Here campaign which addresses the prevention of a number of infections, including influenza and conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).
Photo: Adrian Walker
Director of the Health Promotion and Protection Branch, Ministry of Health, Dr. Beverley Wright (right), addresses a recent JIS Think Tank. At left is Principal Medical Officer and National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster-Kerr.