From the first week of October the preventive vaccine for A(H1N1) flu would be administered in all government and district headquarters hospitals, Principal Secretary Health V.K. Subburaj said here on Thursday.

Tender for vaccine supply would be finalised by October 1 and within a couple of days, the state government would present the new rules for being eligible for free dose of vaccine for A (H1N1) flu, Mr. Subburaj told reporters at a function organised by the Cardiology Department of the Government General Hospital.

Lauding the department for its work, he said it was started at the same time as the Texas Heart Institute in the United States. As the oldest cardiology department in the country, it continued to offer free treatment to patients.

Every year 60,000 echo cardiograms are performed and 5,000 patients are provided angiograms.

Citing World Health Organisation estimates, he said genetically Indians are predisposed to heart disease. Of an estimated 25 lakh persons who require surgeries, about 20 lakh persons remain undiagnosed for heart diseases. And only one lakh persons undergo surgeries, he said.

Given the high caseload the government had assured the department all help, Mr. Subburaj said. The new Cath lab will be ready in the next fortnight and the department had been permitted to take in 14 candidates for DM in cardiology from this year, he added.

Senior Health department officials including Director of Medical Education V. Kanagasabai, Madras Medical College Dean J. Mohanasundaram, GH staff and senior cardiologist V. Chockalingam participated.