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H1N1 Flu Vaccinations Begin Nationwide

Posted October. 28, 2009 06:46,   


Vaccinations against the H1N1 influenza virus began yesterday in the wake of the rapid spread of the disease nationwide.

Medical staff and employees of Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital in Seoul lined up to get vaccinations yesterday. Before they got the vaccine, they had gotten their temperatures checked and filled out preliminary examination forms on if they developed complications due to seasonal flu vaccinations and allergic reactions to eggs used for vaccine production.

Yesterday’s vaccinations were for medical staff, with the average waiting time five to 10 minutes. At lunchtime, the number of staff waiting for shots increased, but the process proceeded in a calm atmosphere.

More than half of the 1,200 employees the hospital plans to inoculate by today were vaccinated yesterday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said eight hospitals specifically designated to fight the H1N1 flu, including Korea University Guro Hospital, the National Medical Center and Seoul National University Hospital, began giving vaccinations yesterday.

Those vaccinated said they felt relieved. Pharmacist Kim Seong-eun at Soon Chun Hyang hospital said, “Fears over adverse effects of the vaccine remains, but I’m free from worry over infection.”

The National Medical Center in central Seoul also began vaccinations yesterday. A source there said, “We first vaccinated those who work in emergency rooms and care for patients infected with the flu virus.”

Of 1,100 employees, 250 were given vaccinations yesterday. Some waited in the inoculation room for 20-30 minutes to see if they developed side effects such as dizziness and fever.

Shin Hyeong-shik, head of the infectious diseases department at the medical center, said, “We advise employees to seek additional medical attention if they develop fever, general sickness and paresthesia of limbs after vaccination.”

Major medical institutions nationwide got a flood calls yesterday from people asking about the availability of vaccinations. A source at the medical center said, “Most of the callers were parents who wanted to know when their children could get vaccinations.”

As the H1N1 flu rapidly spreads nationwide, people want immediate vaccinations. A parent who brought her two children aged four and six after they showed flu-like symptoms to the medical center said, “My children developed fever while attending a daycare center where some children were infected with the (H1N1) flu.”

"I’d like to have my children vaccinated because the number of flu patients in schools and academic institutes is rising."