Monday, 8 January 2024, 11:27
The incidence rate of influenza, Covid and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been on the rise in Andalucía for several weeks, which has overwhelmed many health centres. To try to put a stop to this, the manager of the Andalusian Servicio Andaluz de Salud public health service (SAS), Valle García, has announced that every Thursday until the end of the winter campaign there will be walk-in vaccination points, without appointments being required, against influenza and Covid-19 for the adult target groups and for child flu vaccination in the case of children aged between six months and four years and eleven months (59 months).
However, the head of the SAS said she also wanted to send a message of calm to people in Andalucía, because although "it is true that there is an upturn in the rates of respiratory viruses, it is usual every year at this time of year".
García also said that the latest data on the incidence rate of respiratory infections in the region shows that "the upward trend continues, with 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate similar to this time last year and half the Spanish average".
She added it is "important" for the population know that the SAS has had its high-frequency plan activated since October and that it monitors the activity of its health centres on a daily basis, so that "if there is a significant increase in demand at emergency departments or in the number of people requiring hospital admission, the resources will be adapted according to need".
García also stressed that the regional Ministry of Health is grateful for the "commitment and efforts" of health professionals, as "thanks to their work we are adapting our services to offer the best response".
The head of the SAS also called for people to be vaccinated. She pointed out that from 9 October 2023 to 4 January, "more than a million people" - specifically a total of 1,658,913 were vaccinated against influenza and 1,058,263 against Covid in Andalucía, but "we want to continue to increase the vaccination rate".
With this in mind, García announced that "every Thursday there will be walk-in vaccination points, without appointments, until the end of the winter campaign for the target groups of both adults and children", while informing that the public can consult these vaccination points on the SAS website or at their local health centre.
The manager also insisted on the application of prevention measures against respiratory viruses that "we have learned in recent years, mainly the recommendation to use masks when we present symptoms, when we are going to accompany vulnerable people or if we have previous pathologies and when we are in health and social health centres".
García said that the SAS "is awaiting" the recommendations of the extraordinary meeting of Spain's Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) which will be held this Monday 8 January to deal with the spike in respiratory infections.
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