H1N1 vaccination campaign launched

November 7, 2009

In a move to alleviate fears of the H1N1 vaccine, Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and his eight-year-old daughter Hana were the first to receive the H1N1 flu shots at a press conference in Riyadh. “I have taken the adjuvant vaccine to tell them that even adjuvant vaccine is safe and I gave it to my daughter in public because we’ve been studying this for the last few months,” the health minister said.  "We're confident that it is similar to seasonal flu vaccine and we feel that it is safe."

Health Minister Dr. Al-Rabeeah administers H1N1 flu vaccine to his daughter Hana.  Photo courtesy of Arab News

The H1N1 flu vaccine will be rolled out in stages.  The first to receive the vaccine will be local pilgrims, health workers and security personnel work during the Hajj. The second phase will target schoolchildren.

Dr. Al-Rabeeah said a million doses of the vaccine have been reserved for the first group.  The minister said only two cases of swine flu have been reported so far among the half million pilgrims who have already arrived in the Kingdom, Saudi Gazette reported.

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