HYDERABAD: Doctors who are treating the swine flu patients at Gandhi Hospital are worried lot as they are not given vaccine against swine flu this year. Sources said that though it has been more than two weeks that flow of the flu patients has been increasing, they are not given the vaccine shot which helps them to avoid contracting the infection. Doctors said that some of them have started to show symptoms of the flu such as fever, cold and cough and they took prophylactic medicines which gives protection against the flu virus for a few weeks.
These vaccines are usually given to doctors and heath staff at end of monsoon. “Our lives are at risk as we work in the Disaster Ward to attend the swine flu patients. How are we supposed to work with peace of mind when we know that we too might contract the infection? As part of treatment, at times, we have to intubate a patient (where endotracheal tube is inserted into airways), check temperatures,” one doctor said.
The officials, however, assured that the single dose swine flu vaccine vials will arrive in the State on Monday. The airborne infection spreads through droplets of flu-infected person or by being in direct contact with the patient. Since the virus mutates, vaccines are prepared based on the mutation and prepared afresh every year, said Dr A Sukrutha Reddy, joint director (Epidemics Cell). Earlier, the officials said that last batch of the vaccine vials expired in May and they were not procured immediately as its strength lasts for over six months.