Signing H1N1 consent forms only standard procedure, says minister

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Minister of Health yesterday assured the public not to be alarmed just because they are asked to sign a consent form before receiving the H1N1 vaccination.

Health Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman explained the signing of the form was only a "standard procedure" the ministry was following, the minister said during the afternoon session of the Sixth State Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday.

The minister was responding to a query by Brunei-Muara District Representative Hj Bakar Mansor who was concerned why people had to sign the forms before being vaccinated.

The health minister assured the public that signing the consent forms was not "something to be afraid of".

"Before the vaccine is used or is distributed to the public, the safety of the vaccine has been assured and we are certain it is safe to use. Almost 70 million of these vaccinations have already been used around the world," said Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi.

Regarding adverse effects for those who have already been vaccinated, the minister said there have been no reports.

However, the health minister said that experiencing side effects, such as the swelling of the arm or the site where the inoculation was received, or having a fever for two to three days, was normal after being vaccinated.

"As part of the side-effects of the vaccination, there have been reports of swelling of hands, and patient's encountering fever over a two to three day period. However, many of the public who we have already vaccinated have never complained about other issues pertaining to the vaccination," he said.

MoH medical personnel will first have to brief a person about to receive the Influenza A inoculation on the possible side effects of the vaccine before the form could be signed.

In a previous report, Health expert Dr Ong Sok King, the coordinator of the H1N1 vaccination centre at the National Indoor Stadium, emphasised that the vaccine was "completely safe" and sought to clarify some of the misinformation the public had surrounding the vaccine.

"The ministry is extremely vigilant and strict when it comes to the introduction of a new batch of medicines. It is standard procedure to test a new batch to make sure it reaches our quality and safety standards" said Dr Ong.

Dr Ong also assured the public that the vaccine, which is made from an egg medium, is 100 per cent halal, saying that the ministry meticulously checked through the ingredient report from the Belgian manufacturer, GSK.

The Brunei Times