PROTECTION. The under 14’s will be first in line for the jab.
In the absence of any definitive guidance from the World Health Organisation in Brussels, Spain has decided to go ahead with a programme of vaccination against the Swine flu (AH1N1). Among the first to benefit will be 6.5 million children under 14 years, who will receive the vaccine from October. At the same time those in essential services, including teachers, police and health service personnel will also be on the priority vaccination list. In addition those in high risk groups such as, pregnant women and people suffering from a range of chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
The vaccination of schoolchildren is designed to reduce the likely spread of the virus through children to the wider population. Among the older population, only those with susceptible medical conditions will be vaccinated as, curiously it seems the healthy elderly are less at risk than young adults. The vaccine will be available in Spain in the autumn in line with other European countries. Clinical trials are in the final stages and the vaccine may well be utilised before they are completed. The Government will also make available other antivirus treatments which have proved effective if used within the first 48 hours of the illness and continue with public information campaigns.
Victims in Spain
To date in Malaga area, just 30 cases have been officially registered and none of those have suffered complications or needed hospitalisation. In Andalucía as a whole 186 cases, two of them serious, were registered. This translates as 3.5 people per 100,000, a very low incidence of infection. Across Spain the number of confirmed cases is more than 1,800 with seven deaths. The first fatality was a pregnant Moroccan woman on June 30th in Madrid. The latest victim in Spain was a 34 year old man who died on Wednesday in Albacete. All of the patients had secondary health problems which contributed to their deaths.
Worldwide there have been more than 816 reported deaths mostly in the Americas.