N Touch
Saturday 16 February 2019
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Travellers show card, don’t re-vaccinate for yellow fever

THE Ministry of Health is seeking to assuage fears of a shortage of yellow fever vaccines for foreign travel by saying most adults can present proof of their childhood vaccination rather than be vaccinated a second time.

So said Dr Kumar Sundaraneedi, Medical Director for Health Programmes and Technical Support Services, replying to several complaints sent to Newsday of the seeming non-availability of the vaccine required for travel to some countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and Africa, but excluding Europe and the United States.

Sundaraneedi advised people to treasure their old immunisation cards like a birth certificate.

He said persons travelling to countries requiring proof of yellow fever immunisation can take their old “health centre immunisation card” to any one of nine County Medical Offices across TT which in turn will issue an international immunisation card within two days or immediately.

For those many persons who have lost their old cards, the advice was to go back to the clinic and ask if they can issue you a fresh card based on their records.

Persons who are over 65 years old can apply to the Ministry for a exemption from supplying proof of immunisation, on the basis that such inoculation brings more risk than benefit to some persons. “We didn’t cater for so many people losing their cards,” he said.

Sundaraneedi said worldwide most yellow fever vaccines now go to Angola, Africa, to fight an outbreak.

Vaccines imported to TT firstly goes to provide actual immunisation to babies rather than to serve simply as proof of immunisation for adults. He said by month-end he expects 10,000 extra doses of vaccine, on top of the 10,000 regular doses due by August.

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