Health | SSM stocks up on vaccines amid measles outbreak

Two new imported cases of measles were detected yesterday, raising the total number of cases to 25, the Health Bureau (SSM) announced in a statement.

The first case was diagnosed in a Filipino national who is a 27-year-old non-resident worker and a restaurant employee in the SAR, while the second case involves a 23-year- old local resident who works as a nurse in Kiang Wu Hospital.

The first patient was in the Philippines between January 6 to March 15, while the latter visited Taiwan between March 3 to 9.

The SSM claimed that the local nurse working in the private hospital – where many cases of measles were detected – was not contaminated in his workplace.

According to the health authority, the bureau has increased its order of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines to 15,000 doses. The first batch of 5,400 doses is set to arrive next week.

The bureau also announced that more than 800 residents have asked for the vaccine in just the past few days, compared to the typical demand of around 30 per day.

Thus, the bureau stated that residents who wish to apply for vaccination should make an appointment at the region’s health centers, either in person or over the phone.

“This demand has had a strong impact on the regular functioning of the [health centers], since the procedures to apply this vaccine are [taking] longer than usual,” SSM noted.

However, children under two years old, childcare staff and health professionals are exempted from requiring an appointment.

SSM director Lei Chin Ion told the press yesterday on the sidelines of a committee of the Legislative Assembly that there are enough vaccines available for children and medical staff.

Lei pledged that the bureau would follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization regarding vaccination.  LV

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