THE 190'000 people living in the Balearics who are classed as having a “high risk” of contracting the swine flu virus, can now make appointments to have a jab at their local medical centre from Monday onwards.

The regional Health Ministry has acquired 215'000 doses of the vaccine and those who wish to can call 902-079079 from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Friday to arrange for innoculation.

However, with regard to pregnant women, of whom there are between 8'000 and 10'000 in the Balearics, the vaccine won't arrive until the end of the month. The regional government therefore recommends that an appointment be made at the end of November and that the women in this group give their contact details to Balearic health (Ib-Salut) staff as a text message will be sent to them when the time comes for them to go and have their jabs. The development of the vaccine for pregnant women has been more difficult to make it perfectly safe.

Health Minister Vicens Thomas confirmed yesterday that making appointments through the call centre means that high risk groups can subscribe to the special computerised diary for swine flu jab vaccinations. Apart from pregnant women, said the Minister, those at risk include health service workers (both at doctors' surgeries and in hospitals); those working in old people's residences and staff in clinics giving treatment for long-term illnesses. Also on the list are Emergency service workers - paramedics, police, firemen, civil defence groups and prison workers.


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