Public Scramble At The Clinics For H1N1 Vaccine

A wave of panic has swept the nation as scores of persons have been flocking health centres to enquire about the availability of the H1N1 or "swine flu" vaccine.

This surge comes in the wake of three deaths caused by the virus.

There have been 29 confirmed cases of H1N1 in Trinidad and Tobago. 

In light of these cases, neighbouring Grenada has put the country's disease survelliance system on high alert in order to protect Grenadaian citizens.

The vaccine is available for free at health centres across Trinidad and Tobago, despite reports that some private doctors have been charging $400 for the shot, which reportedly costs half the price. 

A private facility in the St James area was contacted and TS Access News was informed that the H1N1 vaccine they utlise is known as Vaxigrip. The facility said  they imported the brand themselves and the cost per shot is $300.

We paid a visit to a public health facility in the same St James area and were told that the brand of vaccine  public clinics administer is GC Flu.  We were also told that the reason some private facilities may charge for the vaccine is because they are not using the GC Flu brand distributed by the state operated Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division (CFDD).

Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh is urging the public to take advantage of the availablility of the vaccine being given for free at the nation's health clinics, especially persons such as children and the elderly ,who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus.

The last time the country had an H1N1 outbreak was in 2009

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