The vaccine has only been recommended for those who are at risk of being exposed to the virus, namely medical health professionals, say health officials.

Chennai pharmacies running short on H1N1 vaccines No need to panic say officials Image for representation.
news Swine Flu Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 17:29

While there have been reports stating that there is a shortage of vaccines for swine flu, or H1N1, in Chennai’s pharmacies, authorities have stated that there is no need to panic. In early September, several states, including Tamil Nadu, saw a rise in the number of cases of swine flu, with Karnataka reporting as many as 400 cases throughout the state at one point.

Following this, several notices were issued by the respective state’s health department to help curb and prevent the onset of the flu. Vaccines against the flu were only actively advised for those working in the health sector and those who would have a higher chance of being exposed to and contracting the virus.

“The vaccine is not even included in the immunisation schedule. We had recommended it only for those people working in hospitals and who would come into contact with those who may have been affected,” stated Dr K Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health (DPH).

“We have Tamiflu and the other medications necessary to treat the flu and these have been distributed in large amounts throughout the state. There is absolutely no need to panic. The vaccine is not one hundred per cent effective as the strain of the virus constantly changes. So we don’t give it to everyone,” he added.  

He further stated that there has been a steady decline in the number of cases being reported, adding that roughly only a little over 300 cases are present throughout the state of Tamil Nadu currently.

“In the past two weeks, we have seen that the number of positive cases is maintained at around 340, but there has been a decrease in the number of new cases being presented,” said Kolandaswamy.

Swine flu, or H1N1, is a viral infection caused by a strain of the influenza A. Symptoms of the flu are cough, fever, sore throat, headache, nausea and vomiting. Several others present with chills and severe myalgia, or fatigue.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.