h1ni.jpgThe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare says it will by the end of this month embark on an exercise to vaccinate 10 percent of the country’s population against H1N1, a deadly virus which has since been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global pandemic.



The vaccinations are mainly targeting school children and health workers who have high risk of contracting the disease as they are exposed to many people.


Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Director for Communicable Diseases, Dr Portia Manangazira, said Zimbabwe is at risk of contracting the disease and there is need for a massive vaccination exercise in the country.


“We are going to embark on this exercise and this is coming after we realised that Zimbabwe is also at risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.


“We are only targeting 10 percent of the country who we feel are at risk of contracting the disease,” said Manangazira.


H1N1, popularly known as swine flue, is a life threatening disease which can quickly spread thus the need for vaccinations.


Meanwhile, some members of the public have expressed fears over possible strain on children following reports of children who reacted just after the nationwide measles vaccinations carried out a few months ago.


Dr Manangazira however said there would be no harm in vaccinating the children.


South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana have already carried out such vaccination exercises.


WHO declared that H1N1was a global pandemic after it was detected in April last year.


Outbreaks of the disease have subsequently occurred in all regions of the world and by July 2009 the predominant influenza circulated in many countries across the globe.