The Flu and COVID Vaccination Campaign Begins

Canary Islands

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The Minister of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, Esther Monzón, presented this Wednesday a vaccination campaign against flu and COVID-19 for the 2023-24 season. It will begin next Monday, October 16th in all health centers in the Archipelago and will incorporate "substantial innovations" compared to previous campaigns.

Together with the counselor, the general director of Public Health of the Canarian Health Service (SCS), José Díaz-Flores, and the head of the Epidemiology service, Amós García, have detailed the planned operation, the different types of vaccines that will be available to face this season and the advertising campaign that will remind who should get vaccinated.

To face this 2023-24 flu season, the Canary Islands have acquired a total of 335,000 doses of vaccine , with a total investment of 2,989,000 euros.

Esther Monzón pointed out that "this year we continue in the situation of coexistence of COVID-19 with other seasonal pathologies such as the flu, so the vaccination of the most vulnerable groups and essential professionals for the community continues to be essential."

In addition, he recalled that “by vaccinating the at-risk population against flu, we also avoid the coexistence of the two infections, flu and COVID-19, in the same person, minimizing the severity of the disease in the patient and the stress to the patient.” sanitary system".

For his part, José Díaz-Flores, explained that the information campaign that will be disseminated in digital media, social networks, screens on duty in hospitals and health centers, LED screens in the urban environment and radio stations, to remember what the population groups that are at risk of complications if they contract the flu or COVID-19, and who should be vaccinated.

In this sense, the director general of Public Health insisted that the vaccine is the most effective means to avoid contracting or transmitting the flu, especially in those people who are at risk of suffering complications if they suffer from the disease and in the personnel who It is essential for the community such as health workers and caregivers of the elderly or dependents.

In addition, the head of the Epidemiology service, Amós García, reported that to face this season there will be four types of vaccines aimed at :

  • target population older than 6 months. 100,000 doses have been purchased, which has involved an investment of 390,000 euros.
  • target population over 24 months. 180,000 doses have been purchased with a total amount of 1,386,000 euros.
  • institutionalized elderly population and elderly people bedridden at home; over 60 years old. 30,000 doses have been purchased, which has involved an investment of 750,000 euros.
  • boys and girls between two and five years of age (59 months) without underlying pathologies. It can also be used in patients between five and fourteen years of age, inclusive, with underlying pathology for whom it is not contraindicated. 25,000 doses have been purchased, for which 463,000 euros have been invested.

Seasonal vaccination recommendations 2023-2024

Each year, flu vaccination recommendations are established in the fall-winter for those population groups with a higher risk of complications if they suffer from the infection, and for people who can transmit the disease to others who are at high risk. of complications. Since the 2021-2022 season, flu vaccination has coincided with vaccination against COVID-19.

The objective of vaccination against the coronavirus is to reinforce the protection of the most vulnerable people and that of health and social health personnel to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the impact of this disease on health care capacity and socio-health.

Flu/COVID-19 vaccination

Taking into account the current epidemiological situation of COVID-19, vaccination is recommended during the autumn-winter season (2023-2024) for the following population groups:

Due to the greater risk of complications or serious conditions in case of suffering from these infections.

  1. People 60 years or older.
  2. People five years old or older, inmates in care centers for people with disabilities and nursing homes, as well as other long-term institutionalized people and residents in closed institutions.
  3. People under 60 years of age with chronic diseases such as:4. Pregnant women in any trimester of pregnancy and women during the postpartum period (up to six months after delivery)
    • diabetes mellitus and Cushing's syndrome.
    • morbid obesity (body mass index ≥40 in adults, ≥35 in adolescents or ≥3 SD in childhood).
    • chronic cardiovascular, neurological or respiratory diseases, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis and asthma.
    • chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome.
    • hemoglobinopathies and anemias or hemophilia, other coagulation disorders and chronic bleeding disorders, as well as recipients of blood products and multiple transfusions.
    • asplenia or severe splenic dysfunction.
    • chronic liver disease, including chronic alcoholism.
    • serious neuromuscular diseases.
    • immunosuppression.
    • cancer and malignant hemopathies.
    • cerebrospinal fluid fistula and cochlear implant or waiting for it.
    • Celiac Disease.
    • chronic inflammatory disease.
    • disorders and diseases that lead to cognitive dysfunction: Down syndrome, dementia and others.

4. Pregnant women in any trimester of pregnancy and women during the postpartum period (up to six months after delivery)

5. Living with people with a high degree of immunosuppression, with people with other higher-risk diseases and with older people.

To reduce the impact and maintenance of critical and essential services to the community:

  • Staff from health centers and establishments (including pharmacies) and public and private social and health care providers (both health and non-health personnel).
  • People who work in essential public services, with special emphasis on the following subgroups:
    1. National, regional and local Security Forces and Bodies.
    2. Armed forces.
    3. Firefighters.
    4. Civil Protection Services.

Flu vaccination

In addition to the previous groups, flu vaccination is also recommended for:

  • Child population between six and 59 months (five years) of age.
  • People between the ages of five and 59 with a higher risk of complications from influenza, such as those between five and 18 years of age and on long-term treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, or all smokers.
  • Students interning in health centers and establishments (including pharmacies) and social health centers.
  • People with direct occupational exposure to animals or their secretions on poultry, swine or mink farms or farms or to wild fauna (birds, wild boars or mustelids), such as ranchers, veterinarians, farm workers, hunters, ornithologists, environmental agents, security personnel. zoos, etc. The purpose of vaccinating these groups is to reduce the opportunity for concomitant infection with human and avian or porcine viruses, reducing the possibility of recombination or genetic exchange between both viruses.