Spain started rolling out its early flu vaccination campaign today (Monday, October 5) ‘amid second wave of Covid-19 infections’.
THE most vulnerable and ‘at risk’ will be prioritised across the country.
The campaign normally begins in November, but health bosses say an early start will be ‘key in an autumn-winter marked by the second wave of Covid-19 infections’.
Several autonomous communities, such as the Valencia Community, Castilla y León, Galicia and Navarra are among the first to begin to vaccinate their ‘most at risk’.
The Valencian Community, for example, plans to administer more than 1.2 million doses of the vaccine between now and January 31, 2021.
Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, stressed that “this year it is especially important that risk groups get vaccinated against the flu” due to Covid-19, and said the goal is to vaccinate 75 per cent of those over 65 years along with health personnel and 60 per cent of the rest of those most at risk.
In addition, a vaccination strategy will be carried out aimed at residents and staff at nursing homes and day centres, “so that they are vaccinated, preferably, during the first week of the campaign”.
The vaccination of health personnel will also be prioritised.
In Navarra , the Department of Health has 270,000 doses of the vaccine – more than double that of last year, according to the regional government.
🗓️ Hoy arrancan las citas para vacunarte contra la gripe.
➡️ #Navarra tiene más de 270.000 dosis y promueve la vacunación entre colectivos como las personas mayores, las embarazadas, el personal sanitario, personas con problemas de salud crónicos…#GripeYoMeVacuno pic.twitter.com/llvv5mZuV1
— Salud – Osasuna (@salud_na) October 5, 2020
Health bosses announced in August that the flu vaccination campaign would be brought forward to the first half of October in all communities, given the possible coexistence with Covid-19.
The Government and the autonomous communities then reached an agreement to cover at least 75 per cent of health personnel and those over 65 years of age , as well as 60 per cent of pregnant women and other people at risk .
Two months earlier, Spain’s Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, announced the purchase of an extra five million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine to “prevent a greater strain on the health system due to the possible coincidence of the two epidemics.”
Last week, Director of the Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, said: “This year, we can make the flu this year have a lesser impact on our health system and on our population. If we achieve that, we can partially offset the mortality that we have suffered from the coronavirus.”
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