On the first day of the national swine flu (H1N1) vaccination campaign, two new H1N1 deaths were reported by the Health Ministry on Sunday, bringing the total number of victims to 19. In an official statement, MoH said that the "first patient was a woman in her 60s who was admitted to a hospital on Oct. 24 suffering from high fever, difficulty in breathing, and bronchitis."
She also had a prior brain injury and a problem with blood circulation and due to her critical condition she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where medication was administered but she succumbed to the disease Saturday.
The second case was a man in his 40s who was admitted to hospital on Oct. 22 with high fever, high blood pressure, diabetes, lung damage and irregular blood circulation. He was also admitted to the ICU and succumbed to the disease Saturday.
In a related development, the Minister of Health Dr.Hilal Al-Sayer said that "the H1N1 virus vaccine is safe and optional and meets the international medical standards."
Following the inauguration of vaccine campaign, he said that the "vaccine is available in preventive health centers," saying that the "groups most susceptible to complications of the disease are namely people suffering from chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes and heart diseases, as well as the elderly over the age of 65, children less than five years old, pregnant women and patients suffering from lung, blood, kidney diseases, and people with HIV and obesity." He said that the side effects of the vaccine are minor, like redness at the spot of the injection, pain in the muscles or a slight increase in temperature, which are the cases with any other vaccines.
Health Undersecretary Dr.Ibrahim Al-Abdulhadi said that the "vaccine will be available in 28 health centers in various areas across the country, which will be ready to receive people wishing to receive the vaccine." He however stressed that the circumstances are stable in the country, saying that "the ministry has been following up on any developments of the swine flu disease ever since the declaration of the first death last April," pointing out that a higher death rate from the virus is expected, due to the seasonal winter.
Source : Al Watan