Shortage of vaccines leads to rationalisation

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Luanda - Children and people who have never been vaccinated will be served on a priority basis under the ongoing vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Luanda.

This was said Sunday in Luanda by the Health minister, José Van-Dúnem, who admitted that this is despite the fact that in cases of epidemic everyone must be vaccinated.

The official was speaking at the end of a meeting that assessed the epidemiologic situation, in the wake of the yellow fever hitting Luanda since December last year.

According to the minister, all Luanda population must get vaccinated, but a priority should be given to children, people who have never been vaccinated and pregnant women in their ninth month.

The technical recommendation is that children get vaccinated as from the sixth month of age, as well as everyone else, excepting people under cancer medication or those immune-depressed, as the benefit is much bigger than the risk, said the minister.

According to José Van-Dúnem, the yellow fever epidemic is currently confined to Luanda, as those cases reported in other provinces are associated with people who had been in the capital, before they got infected and returned to their areas of origin.

They are people who came to the Luanda’s Km 30 Market to sell or buy products. Most of them sleep in cars or in precarious accommodation during their activity in the capital, which makes them very vulnerable, the official also explained.

The minister added that despite the desinfestation done in the municipality of Viana, particularly at Km 30 Market, the population of mosquito is still very high.

José Van-Dúnem explained the shortage of vaccines saying there is an international institution that controls a minimum stock of the drug in the world, and four other international entities licensed to produce vaccines for routine operations rather than for epidemic.

He informed that there are six million vaccines available for Luanda, but the whole country would need 24 million, which would require the above mentioned controlling institution to ask one of the four licensed entities to increase the production of the vaccine to meet the needs.