A flu vaccination is given. File photograph. / SUR

Flu jab campaign is rolled out in Andalucía, making it the first region in Spain

The Junta's Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, assures that there will be sufficient doses of an influenza vaccine available for everyone who needs one

ÁNGEL ESCALERA

The flu vaccination campaign began in Andalucía this Thursday, 14 October, starting with the elderly in nursing homes. Across the region almost 52,600 doses will be administered: 45,014 for the elderly living in residences and 7,567 for users of centres for the disabled.

In this first round, the workers at the residences and all the health and social health personnel will also be vaccinated against the seasonal virus.

Andalucía is the first region in Spain to start the flu vaccination campaign and the Junta’s Minister of Health, Jesús Aguirre, said, “Andalucía is ahead of the pack for the administration of this vaccine in order to protect the most vulnerable people."

"Although the incidence of influenza last year was zero, we must not lower our guard and for this campaign we will follow the same protocols as previous campaigns," Aguirre explained.

In total, the Junta has purchased 1,645,000 doses of vaccines and Aguirre said that Andalucía has the best influenza vaccines currently available, for each vaccination target group. All the vaccines that will be used will be tetravalent, that is, with two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B, so that the potential protection is the greatest possible. In addition, for people over 60 years of age in residential homes for the elderly, the population most vulnerable to influenza, there will be a vaccine with a higher antigen load to maximize the immune response and offer even higher protection.

Over 65s

As of 18 October, the vaccination campaign will begin for all people of age 65 and over regardless of whether or not they have pathologies, individuals over six months of age with chronic pathologies, as well as pregnant women.

Starting in November, essential workers will join the campaign while cohabitants of people at risk may be vaccinated from December, always depending on the evolution of the campaign and the availability of vaccine doses.

"Our goal is to achieve the greatest possible coverage," said Aguirre, who assured that "the campaign is long and there will be time to vaccinate all those who need it."

For the administration of the anti-flu doses, there are more than 1,600 vaccination points throughout the region.