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NO 4

Over 40,000 to be vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis

Myitmakha News Agency

Lashio, August 26 – the Public Health Department has announced they will start to administer vaccinations against Japanese encephalitis on August 28 in areas of northern Shan State where the virus has recently broken out.

The first cases of the virus were reported in northern Shan State this July. By 24 August, a total of 46 individuals are believed to have suffered from the disease. Of this figure, 19 were suffers of the Japanese encephalitis strain, of which the virus proved fatal for four. Three others have also died, although doctors are stumped on the cause of death as they should no signs of the virus by suffered from the swelling of their brain – an indicative and primary symptom of encephalitis.

But a lacking budget has reportedly put limitations on the numbers of people which can be administered with the Japanese encephalitis vaccinations.

“Vaccinations can’t be administered to everyone. We’re not administering everyone in a village where cases of the virus have been reported. Vaccinations will be administered to those show symptoms of the disease and those believed to be most vulnerable to it,” said a doctor from the Department of Health for Shan State.

Local residents, however, have expressed favor over the vaccinations being prioritized for those most at risk from catching the virus.

“Leave the adults be. Things will be okay if just the vaccinations are just administered to the children. Rather than all these organizations in northern Shan State holding events to collect donations, I think it would be much better if they could fulfill the desires of every family rocked by this virus by vaccinating their children,” said a resident of Lashio, northern Shan State’s primary urban center.

Costing K1,200 million, the region’s department of health will administer vaccinations to over 40,000 people in regions of northern Shan State where the Japanese encephalitis virus is currently circulating.

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