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H1N1 vaccinations open to all age groups.

H1N1 vaccinations were yd made available yesterday to all persons from vulnerable sectors of the population over six months of age. Up until yesterday only persons aged 15-45 were eligible for the H1N1 vaccine.

Immunisation centres reported greatly increased demand for the vaccine today compared to previous days, with the Aglandja immunisation centre saying they were unable to keep up with demand.

Head of the Health Ministry committee in charge of H1N1 Chrystalla Hadjianastasiou said: "Dependent on the attendance, and if we see that we don't have the personnel, then we will certainly staff the centres with more personnel."

Across Cyprus, the marked increase in people lining up for vaccines was mainly accounted for by persons over the age of 45.

In Limassol, 80 people had been immunised by lunchtime yesterday. At Nicosia's Makarios hospital, which was offering jabs only to pregnant women and children aged between six months and 15 years old, 50 people had been immunised by lunchtime. Over 50 people were immunised in Larnaca.

Once a person is immunised with the H1N1 vaccine it takes on average two to three weeks to develop immunity. According to WHO, there were 1,000 deaths from the H1N1 virus globally last week, bringing the total so far to 7,826. Over 500,000 people die from seasonal flu every year.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Dec 3, 2009
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