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H1N1 Vaccine Arrives in Fiji
The arrival of 80,000 doses of Panvax H1N1 vaccine for the Influenza A H1N1 will allow the Ministry of Health to respond to the global Influenza A H1N1 pandemic and protect those most vulnerable to infection.
The vaccine, which arrived into the country yesterday, will be used first to protect all health care workers and support staff to ensure there is no disruption to health care services in Fiji. The provision of the vaccine was possible through the joint assistance of the World Health Organisation, AUSAID, UNICEF and JICA.
All pregnant women, in any trimester during 2009, will be offered a dose of this vaccine. The primary objective of the pandemic Influenza A H1N1 vaccination campaign in Fiji is to save lives and protect those most at risk of serious infection with this new virus.
The remaining doses will be distributed to those with chronic conditions, who are at most risk of severe outcomes from influenza - those aged between 10 (to be reduced to 2 years once clinical trial results are released in the coming weeks) and 40 years, and who attend the health care service for their condition during the month of March 2010 (including diabetes, chronic diseases including respiratory diseases, cardiac, neurological, liver, renal, those who are immunocompromised and children attending a special school).
At the end of this time vaccine stock will be assessed and the upper age limit revised if stock allows. Fiji will require about 87,000 doses of Influenza A H1N1 vaccine to vaccinate the above target groups.
The total cost of the budget required is FJ$249,651. Government recognises this as a campaign of public health importance and will contribute a 3.5 percent of the total funding required to carry out this important vaccination campaign. Donor agencies like the World Health Organisation, AUSAID, UNICEF and JICA have also assisted in ensuring that the vaccine does get to Fiji.
The priority target group will be healthcare workers. This includes village health workers, nursing stations, health centres, subdivisional hospitals and divisional and specialised hospitals. Tertiary health care services are currently offered in each division. Subdivisional hospitals offer primary care and are limited to secondary health care services.
General Practitioners and Private hospitals in Fiji are also playing a major role in providing health care services to the population of Fiji. Supporting the health care workers are the students from the two major health institutions, Fiji School of Medicine and the Fiji school of Nursing.
Vaccine will be offered to the entire Ministry of Health establishment including, but not limited to all nurses, doctors, ward assistants, cooks, domestic, admin and maintenance staff. In addition, the vaccine will be offered to medical and nursing students at the Fiji School of Medicine, Fiji School of Nursing and general practitioners and private hospital staff. It is anticipated that by protecting the health care workforce at large the impact of the second wave of influenza A H1N1 pandemic on health care services will be minimised.
This target group will receive vaccine at their place of work during February 2010. Target will be 10,000 health workers. Other target groups will be:
1. Pregnant Women
It is well documented that pregnant women have suffered high morbidity and mortality from the influenza A H1N1 pandemic 2009. For this reason any woman who is currently or will become pregnant during 2010, regardless of their trimester, will be offered a dose of the Influenza A H1N1 2009 vaccine.
In Fiji, the majority of pregnant women attend ante natal clinics either at subdivision hospitals or health centres, for this reason vaccine will be offered in these settings and high coverage is expected to be achieved. Domiciliary vaccination will be conducted for pregnant women in isolated areas. Target for this group will be 25,000 pregnant women.
2. Chronic Diseases
Influenza A H1N1 vaccine will be offered for a limited time period to those with chronic conditions aged between 10 (to be reduced to 2 years once clinical trial results are released in the coming weeks) and 40 years, who attend health services for a clinic, emergency visit, or are hospitalised during the month of March 2010 including:
· Chronic respiratory condition (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
· Chronic renal failure;
· Chronic liver disease;
· Persons who are immunosupressed including HIV/AIDS and cancer;
· Chronic cardiac conditions excluding simple hypertension;
· Chronic neurological conditions; and
· Children attending a special school.
At the end of March 2010 a stock assessment of vaccine will be conducted and if stock allows the upper age limit of this group will be revised upward. Target for this group will be 53,000 people.
Ministry of Information
(THURSDAY MARCH 4TH 2010, No:239/MOH) H1N1 VACCINE ARRIVES IN FIJI
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