Flu vaccines available for Baguio folk

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City health authorities announced the availability of anti-flu vaccines in the different district health centers that could be availed for free by residents, especially the senior citizens and members of the vulnerable and marginalized sectors.

Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes said influenza cases often skyrocket every July to September because of the rainy season before waning every October to December.

She added flu cases spike again every January to March because of the cold weather, thus, the need for residents, especially the senior citizens and members of the vulnerable and marginalized sectors, to start availing of the free anti-flu vaccines being provided by the health department to prevent them from contracting the illness for at least a year.

Brillantes advised residents to avail of the anti-flu vaccines annually because studies have shown there is a different strain of the flu that infects people every year that warrants people to have their anti-flu shots.

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The medical officer revealed that the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) and a district health center had been identified by the Manila-based Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) as centers where specimens of flu patients seeking medical attention will be taken as part of the ongoing surveillance for the kind of flu strain that should be prevented through the development of a future vaccine.

According to her, the CHSO and the 16 district health centers are ready to provide the interested residents with the anti-flu vaccines to ensure their protection from influenza for at least one year.

She admitted there is always a different strain of the flu virus that thrives every year that is why the vaccines that will be developed will have to combat the prevailing strain to ensure that the health of the people will be protected.

The assistant city health officer emphasized that the CHSO remains aggressive in the implementation of its numerous health-related programs, projects and activities aside from focusing on how to combat the rapid spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city because almost all of them are related to the protection of people’s health to prevent them contracting life-threatening illnesses.

Brillantes assured the public that the different district health centers are ready to attend to the medical needs of residents seeking medical attention from the government facilities because there are still numerous inquiries from the public on the other health services being provided in the said centers aside from COVID-19 concerns.

She stated that the city’s health personnel and members of the barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTs) are working round the clock, especially during the community quarantine period, to cater to the various medical needs of the residents from the different barangays who constantly seek medical attention because of other illnesses.

Aside from flu, she noted that other illnesses that are expected to increase during the rainy season are dengue, typhoid fever, and other influenza-like illnesses.

By Dexter A. See

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