Spain starts early flu vaccination campaign ‘amid second wave of Covid-19 infections’

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.

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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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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