Gov’t To Give H1N1 Shots To Kids, Pregnant Women

The government plans to give A(H1N1) vaccinations to at least 16,000 children, pregnant women and people who suffer from chronic lung disease during a 10-day period that began yesterday, officials said.

The so-called swine flu vaccinations will be administered in Phnom Penh as well as the nearby prov­inces of Kandal, Kompong Speu, and Kompong Chhnang, according to Health Minister Mam Bun Heng, who said the campaign will then move to the rest of the country.

The government received at no cost 300,000 doses of the influenza vaccine from France, with medical equipment given by the US and informational booklets from Unicef, said Mr Bun Heng. The donations were made through the World Health Organization, he added.

“It is a first priority that A(H1N1) vaccinations be given to children, pregnant women and people with lung diseases,” said Yim Deth, a unit deputy chief at the Ministry of Health.

Second priority is all staff with the Ministry of Health stationed across the country, he said; and the third priority is 10 civil servants from each district and 5 civil servants from each commune.

However, the website of the WHO recommends health workers be given first priority for early vaccination to protect themselves and their patients as well as keep healthcare systems functioning.

A ceremony to launch the vaccination campaign was held in the capital’s Chamkar Mon district, presided over by the health minister and Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema, according to Mr Deth.

Since Cambodia reported its first case of the influenza virus in June 2009, there have been 566 cases of the disease with six deaths, according to a March 12 Health Ministry report.

 

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