Medical and paramedical staff in the state will now have to give in a written consent about whether they wish to take the swine flu vaccine.
The Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Maharashtra, arrived at this decision after a two-day long review meeting about the first phase of the swine flu immunisation programme.
“Doctors in-charge at hospitals will first have to conduct information programmes about swine flu immunisation for their medical and paramedical staff before asking them to submit the consent letter,” said Dr V.N. Kulkarni, assistant director, DHS.
The decision could help motivate more hospital staff to come forward and take the H1N1 vaccine, added Kulkarni.
Of the 34,300 doses of the swine flu vaccine given to the state by the Centre, only 2,212 have been used so far. In Mumbai,
380 doses of the total 500 doses of vaccine have been administered to hospital staff.
The expiry date of the vaccine, which has been imported from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, is fast nearing in October 2010.
“After immunisation of hospital staff is over, remaining doses of the vaccine will be used for workers in primary health care centres,” said Kulkarni.