Hospital workers in Coimbatore, Chennai to be vaccinated

The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine will purchase and stock up medicines and vaccines for A (H1N1) influenza, Director of Public Health R. T. Porkai Pandian said on Friday.

The directorate has sought Rs.55 lakh from the government, and it would be used to procure tablets, syrups and vaccine vials needed to contain a possible epidemic, he said.

The decision follows fears that the flu could spread.

Since the last week of March, 24 persons in the State have tested positive for the infection. Of these cases, 11 are from Chennai and 10 from Coimbatore.

Dr. Porkai Pandian said the State received 25,000 doses of vaccines and placed requests for 2,000 vials of syrup. The vials are expected to be received by Tuesday.

In a day or two, the State government would start vaccinating health workers in hospitals, where dedicated wards are to be set up.

“We will start vaccinating doctors and hospital workers in Coimbatore and Chennai as more infections have been reported from these places. We are planning to immunise the 10 people who would be on shift system in these wards,” he said.

On Monday, the government announced that it had geared up to tackle a flu epidemic. Every district headquarters and tertiary care hospital had allotted beds to take in persons testing positive for the flu.

The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, the Communicable Diseases Hospital, Stanley, Kilpauk and Royapettah hospitals each had set aside a 20-bed ward.

First death

The first death due to A (H1N1) was reported last Saturday from Coimbatore. The victim was a 72-year-old farmer from Tirupur. The infection was active in Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur.