Health service launches its annual flu jab campaign

A woman receives the flu jab this week in  a central Malaga health centre. :: SUR
A woman receives the flu jab this week in a central Malaga health centre. :: SUR
  • Health centres across the province are vaccinating “high risk groups” against the virus as winter nears

The best way of avoiding flu this winter is to be vaccinated against it. The vaccination campaign, which began in 191 health centres in Malaga province on Monday, is aimed at the people who are most vulnerable to the virus, which includes those over 65 years old, chronically ill patients, pregnant women, medical professionals, community and public service staff (forces, security guards, firefighters), and those who work in prisons.

The general secretary for Public Health at the Junta regional government, Josefa Ruiz, explained that although the behaviour of the virus is unpredictable, experts believe that the number of cases will not be too high this year. They have reached this conclusion based on results from Australia, where the flu season has been moderate up to now.

The flu vaccination is manufactured every year based on recommendations published by the World Health Organisation, using data tracking the virus's spread around the southern hemisphere, where the flu season starts earlier.

This year, the flu vaccine protects against three strains of flu; two type A and one type B. Malaga health officials have ordered 213,956 vaccines for the province.

Anyone who wishes to make an appointment to be vaccinated can do so in their health centre.

In addition, to maximise the accessibility of this programme for people older than 65, the highest risk category, it is possible to make an appointment online on the Servicio Andaluz de Salud 'InterSAS' website.

Appointments can also be made by 24 hour phone service or email, through Salud Responde, or by using the Salud Responde app, which is available to download for free on all mobile phones.

People who use the telecare service from the Junta de Andalucía can also book appointments through that.

When those who require vaccination cannot come to the health centre due to mobility restrictions, a medical professional can come to their home to administer the vaccination.

Preventing it spreading

In order to prevent flu, it is important to cover your mouth, use disposable tissues and frequently wash your hands to protect against the virus. It can be transmitted through the air, coughing, or sneezing. To mark the beginning of the vaccination campaign, the provincial health delegate for the Junta, Ana Isabel González, accompanied by the Malaga-Guadalhorce district health director, Maximiliano Vilaseca, and the provincial head of public health services, Yolanda González, went to a central Malaga health centre on Monday.

Those older than 65 who live in shared residences or go to day care centres will be vaccinated systematically, as will those between 65 and 75 who have never received the vaccination before.