R.Sujatha

The vaccine ran out of stock nearly

45 days ago

CHENNAI: Hundreds of people across the State who were bound for South American and African countries can take the trip now that Port Health authorities have received 600 doses of yellow fever vaccine.

The vaccine will be given to 100 people in the first round on Friday and subsequently on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Port Health authorities said.

Yellow fever, a viral infection that affects humans and monkeys, is transmitted through the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito, and is endemic to South American and African countries.

The International Health Regulations require a vaccination certificate to enter or leave an infected country.

The city’s government agencies, including the King Institute, ran out of the vaccine nearly 45 days ago.

Until recently many people who had to leave urgently went to private hospitals such as Apollo and Sri Ramachandra, where a dose cost around Rs.1,600. But over a week ago even that dried up. Government agencies charge Rs.150 a dose.

A person who is injected the live virus develops immunity after the tenth day and requires a revaccination after ten years.

The vaccine is not recommended for babies under one year , pregnant women or people with AIDS or those on chemotherapy for cancer.

International Health regulations stipulate that a traveller arriving from an endemic zone without a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate must be kept in mosquito-free quarantine rooms at the port of arrival for 10 days to prevent infecting the public.

Port Health Officer V.V. Sairam Babu said his office received the vaccine doses on Wednesday from the Central Research Institute in Kasauli.

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