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H1N1 vaccine expected in Saint Lucia later this month

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Monday, November 9, 2009 – As the Ministry of Health continues to institute proactive measures to reduce the spread and severity of the H1N1 virus on the population, health experts are awaiting the first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine in Saint Lucia.


The vaccine which will provide immunization for the most vulnerable people including children, elder citizens, pregnant women and health care workers, is expected to arrive in Saint Lucia and other Caribbean islands by late November.

Senior Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health Dr. Merlene Frederick, says officials are awaiting confirmation from CARICOM on the imminent distribution of the vaccine in the region.


“Sometime ago people may have heard CARICOM making a pronouncement about when Caribbean countries will begin receiving the H1N1 vaccine. However, in Saint Lucia we have not received any definite date as to when we will be receiving the vaccine but we hope that it will be sooner than later. Right now what we know is that even when the vaccine becomes available it will only be accessible in small quantities; high risk individual’s front line clinical health care workers who interact with patients daily will be given first priority.”


Meanwhile, the Senior Medical Officer says, while the H1N1 vaccine is expected to become available in Saint Lucia shortly, there are several things that citizens can do to protect themselves and people around them.


“We need to ensure that we wash our hands frequently and cover all coughs. If you are sick—after visiting the doctor—you need to remain home for at least one week to tend to your health and well being.”


The H1N1 vaccine is expected to become available in the Caribbean ahead of an anticipated second strain of the dreaded H1N1 virus.

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