29 July 2010
The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development has urged high-risk patients to visit their nearest public health facility to get vaccinated against H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu.
Pregnant women, patients with chronic lung and heart diseases, people with diabetes, those under the age of 20 as well as those over 65 are urged to get immunised against the H1N1 virus by the end of July.
Decrease mortality rates
In April this year, public health facilities started immunising those deemed to be at risk.
“More than 120 000 doses have been administered since the vaccination campaign started in April 2010 and no cases of the pandemic have been reported,” Department spokesperson Mandla Sidu said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said the campaign has also benefited airport staff, nurses, intensive care unit workers, emergency services workers, doctors and HIV-positive children under the age of 15.
The H1N1 outbreak started last year in Mexico and rapidly spread to other countries, including South Africa. 13 people died in Gauteng.
The vaccine is available at all public health facilities as well as Clicks pharmacies in the province.