Mass vaccination of children starts

Over 830,000 children aged from six months up to the age of five will be vaccinated against swine flu over the next two weeks, in what the Volkskrant calls the biggest mass vaccination the country has held.

A further 200,000 people who share their homes with very young babies are also being called up for the vaccination.
The paper says the vaccines are being delivered by the fire brigade, police are on standby to deal with traffic problems and minibuses have been brought in to take thousands of parents and children to sport halls and congress centres nationwide. By early afternoon, no problems had been reported.
Temporary clinics

In total, 250 locations have been turned into temporary clinics. The biggest is likely to be Amsterdam’s Rai congress centre, which will host over 100,000 people over two days.
‘It was incredibly well-organised,’ one mother told ‘Everyone was kind and helpful, there were balloons for the children and I was in and out in five minutes.’
While experts say children are not more likely than adults to die of swine flu, young children do account for almost 25% of flu-related hospital admissions. Their undeveloped resistence and short airways make them more likely to develop complications, doctors told the Volkskrant.
Parents who miss this week’s call-up will not get a second chance to have their child vaccinated because of the logistic difficulties, news agency ANP quoted a health ministry spokesman as saying.
Some 28 people have died of swine flu in the Netherlands so far.

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