Health Ministry Alerts Jamaicans to the upcoming Flu Season
Sept. 14, 2023
Kingston, Jamaica. Wednesday, September 13, 2023: The Ministry of Health & Wellness is reminding the public of the impending Influenza (Flu) season, which normally starts in October. The Flu is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person, mainly by coughing, sneezing and through close contact.
It notes that the viruses circulate worldwide and can affect anybody in any age group with varied symptoms including fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.
Speaking at the Ministry’s Quarterly press conference on Wednesday, September 13, Health & Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, cautioned that “the flu is to be taken seriously, as it can lead to pneumonia and blood infections, and cause diarrhoea and seizures in children. The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease.”
“We are the expecting the arrival of the 18,000 doses of the flu vaccines purchased by the Ministry of Health & Wellness through the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) Revolving Fund for Vaccines. The flu vaccine should be available to the public by the end of this week, pending the arrival of the shipment in country,” Dr. Tufton added.
The vaccine is offered free of cost in the public health system to high-priority groups, including healthcare workers; children and elderly with chronic illnesses; pregnant women; individuals who are institutionalised or in state care; and non-health frontline workers.
Although these are the prioritized groups, the Minister noted that no one should be refused the flu vaccine and encouraged private health care providers to procure the influenza vaccine through private distributors to provide for the general population.