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Health official becomes first person in Slovakia to get new vaccine

The head of the Public Health Office, Ivan Rovný, has become the first Slovak to be vaccinated against the novel flu virus in Slovakia.

The head of the Public Health Office, Ivan Rovný, has become the first Slovak to be vaccinated against the novel flu virus in Slovakia.

“I have already written a will,” he joked shortly before getting the vaccine. He was given the flu shot along with four other employees of the Public Health Office. Journalists attending the event were also offered vaccinations, the SITA newswire reported.

Dr Peter Lipták, who carried out the vaccination, said that the most effective approach is to get vaccinated against seasonal flu and pandemic flu at the same time.

Rovný said that Slovaks do not have to be afraid of being vaccinated, as more than 95 million US citizens have already received the same vaccine.

On December 14, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur delivered the first 30,000 doses of the Panenza vaccine against the A-type flu virus (H1N1) to the State Administration of Material Reserves (SSHR). An additional 20,000 doses should be delivered to Slovakia by the end of this year. In January, Slovakia expects to receive 400,000 to 500,000 further doses. The last part of delivery is to arrive in Slovakia by the end of February. The first people to be vaccinated against novel flu will be health-care workers, pregnant women, patients with chronic disease and key officials, SITA wrote.

As of December 14, Slovakia had registered 860 cases of novel flu, and Slovakia has officially reported three deaths directly due to the A type flu virus (H1N1).

Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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