Wednesday, November 4, 2009


First batch of flu vaccine arrives

Brunei is among the first few countries in the region to get and may be the first to use the vaccine against H1N1 as 1,500 doses arrived on Monday and another 4,500 doses will be recieved today. The next shipment will come in December and it will arrive in stages until January 2010 totalling 476,000 doses.
This will cover 100 per cent of the citizens and residents in the country, the Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi said yesterday. Only one dose is sufficient for each person to protect them from contracting the swine flu virus.
Nine hundred doses have been brought to Mecca and Medina for Brunei's haj pilgrims. Due to logistical problems, the pilgrims could not get the jabs in time before their departure. They would be given the flu shots in Mecca and Medina as required by the haj authorities in Saudi Arabia.
The rest would be given to frontline workers who may become exposed to the H1NI virus and chronic patients.
"Once we receive the whole set of doses, the general public would be vaccinated," said the minister.
The ministry has reminded the public that vaccinations would be carried out voluntarily, meaning that those who need the jabs should get vaccinated.
People residing in Brunei will be vaccinated and it's free to the citizens and residents of the country.
Asked about the current situation of H1N1 in the country, Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said, "By God's will, the number has so far been decreasing. From time to time, we have only seen one or two cases. We are happy to report that the rate (of infection) has reduced tremendously since cases were reported in the country.
"However, we advise the public to continue to be alert and practise self-hygiene, especially with the onset of winter in other countries as amidst the era of globalisation whatever happens in other countries also spreads here.
"We will inform the public where to get the vaccination. At the moment, we are still sorting out the logistics. But it will be done at the identified hospitals and health centres. We are thankful that the suppliers have obtained the vaccines in time and we have been working very closely with them," he added.
Asked about Brunei's preparation for the second wave of H1N1, Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said the ministry is prepared with the vaccines, advices and swabbing, if needed, and so on. It all depends on the individuals themselves. We are advising people to be vigilant and practise cleanliness.
"Whatever we have been doing will be continued and maintained. If an outbreak is serious, we will take further actions to handle the situation," he said.
Asked about the doses for general practitioners and clinics, Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said, "So far, the vaccines are only for us (at the ministry). This is one area which we are looking at. We don't want people to be charged for the vaccine.
"The H1N1 vaccine is recommended to everyone above six months of age. However, one has to be fever-free, as is the case before administering any other vaccinations. In general, you have to be in good health.
"Children below the age of 10 will get half of the adult dose and those above 10 years old will get one dose. It means children between six months and 10 years will get two doses, which are four weeks apart. They have to come to us twice," said the minister.
"The concept of vaccination is to prevent a healthy person from getting the disease. It's something that people should bear in mind."
Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi advised haj pilgrims to take care of themselves despite being vaccinated, as they will be moving amidst huge crowds. "We advise them to drink plenty of water and practise self-hygiene. They must also be aware of the sick people around them." (Borneo Bulletin)

1 comment:

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