High risk groups to get free vaccine

vaccineNEW DELHI: With the scare of swine flu looming over the city, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has directed health authorities to make preparations for free and mandatory vaccination of health care providers and high risk groups for prevention of H1N1 Influenza virus.

Jain gave the directions in the meeting of all stakeholders to review the preparedness for dealing with the H1N1 virus, given the reports that this virus (Swine Flu) is spreading in many parts of the country.

“The minister directed that doctors, nurses, other paramedics in both government and private hospitals, and high risk groups like children, senior citizens, pregnant women, will be provided free vaccination in hospitals for effective prevention,” said a senior Delhi government official.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Directorate of Education, Nodal health officers of all Railway Stations, ISBT and DMRC, AIIMS, medical superintendents of Delhi government hospitals and private laboratories.

Further, it has been decided that the ICMR will coordinate with AIIMS and NCDC to identify the circulating strain of H1N1 virus along with virulency and mortality of the strain.

Also, Director Education will appoint nodal teachers in schools to make students and staff aware about the preventive steps against H1N1 virus.

H1N1 designated hospitals will send samples to AIIMS, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) or National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for influenza testing. All three designated government labs must ensure the correct reporting within stipulated time, said Jain.

Private laboratories have been told once again that the maximum charges for influenza testing will remain capped at Rs 4500. They have been told that since facilities for proficiency testing are available with them, no charges can be taken for sending samples to any other lab. -PTI

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