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Don’t poke me

Don’t poke me

Saudi residents are still vary of the H1N1 vaccine, and many refuse to take part in the massive swine flu immunization campaign launched in the kingdom, reports Arab News.

December 21, 2009 9:28 by

Saudi Arabia received an unenthusiastic public response to the H1N1 immunization campaign it launched on Saturday, according to an official at the Health Affairs Department in Jeddah.

“Only 31 students turned up for vaccination on Saturday and 25 on Sunday,” said Khalaf al-Mutairy, director of a clinic designated to receive students from 40 schools in districts to the east of Jeddah.

The situation in Asir province was also no different. According to one source, only 10 percent of parents in Asir consented to their children taking the vaccine.

Parents have doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine, and are under the impression that the government authorities are unsure about how safe it is, said a school principal in Abha.

“Why is there a clause in the consent form saying the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Education are not responsible in the event of a serious complication or death occurring after taking the vaccine,” said Yahya Subhan, a school principal in Asir. “Parents wonder why the ministries have put that clause in while other vaccinations, such as those administered to a newborn, are void of such clauses,” he said.

The worry over side effects is further increased by the fact that the consent forms do not carry the logo of either the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health, he said.

He also said that the Ministry of Health has rushed the anti-swine flu campaign and not provided schools with the necessary trained staff to handle infections and medical apparatus.

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