Obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Lackram Bodoe is advising pregnant women to get the H1NI (swine flu) vaccine saying the benefits far outweigh the risks of not being vaccinated.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on Friday said there are 17 laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu as of January 11, three of which are pregnant women. Deyalsingh again confirmed the statistics, including three deaths yesterday, and like Bodoe urged pregnant women and health care workers to get vaccinated.
Bodoe, the Fyzabad MP, said he has advised his patients to get the vaccine.
“As an ob/gyn, I was just want to encourage all pregnant women to get the vaccination and those women who experience flu-like symptoms that persist beyond four to five days to seek medical attention sooner rather than later.”
Asked about concerns regarding the safety of the vaccination, he said, “From all the evidence at this point in time suggests the vaccine is safe.”
“I have been telling my patients that the benefits for outweigh the risks.”
He said flu like symptoms include a high fever and body pains.
“High fever, body pains, running nose, it mimics the ordinary virus but the difference is the symptoms tend to persist beyond four to five days. The ordinary flu virus would go away in a few days.”
South West Regional Health Authority CEO Keith McDonald yesterday said the vaccine was available at health centres.
“Yes, the vaccine is available at the health centres, there was an advertisements published in the newspaper that gives the locations of all the centres,” he said.
“We want to advise people to go and get the shots.” He said once a patient is confirmed with swine flu, they are immediately isolated with the necessary protocols observed.
“Everything is in place, we leave no steps unturned because once a case of whatever is confirmed we do what is necessary and we have been very proactive in alerting the population.”