Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

A Message from the Secretary of FSM Health and Social Affairs on H1N1 Vaccine

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): February 9, 2010 - As your Secretary of Health, mandated to protect your health, I feel obligated to share a few words on the H1N1 vaccination activity our staff and the staff of the Departments of Health in all the four FSM states are currently undertaking. The H1N1 vaccine was derived from the strain of influenza virus that hit Mexico and the USA during the later part of 2009. Because of the nature and the fast spread of the influenza virus that was circulating, the world was experiencing a real pandemic.

In its effort to contain this pandemic, the world developed a vaccine against this new strain of virus (H1N1). The H1N1 vaccine was made using the same methods used safely and effectively every year to make the seasonal influenza vaccine. Today, the H1N1 vaccine is available and we are providing this vaccine to the most vulnerable groups; young children, caretakers of young children, those with chronic conditions, and health workers, free of charge, but on a voluntary basis.

Some of you might have read or heard from other sources that describe the current pandemic or the H1N1 vaccine as fake. This is simply not true. We all need to be informed, but not irresponsible in spreading false information. As a health department, we would not have undertaken this H1N1 vaccination campaign if we did not believe it would protect your health. This is our responsibility and we will continue to uphold this commitment to you at all cost.

Dr. Vita A. Skilling
Secretary of the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356