The seasonal flu vaccination campaign has already started in some autonomous communities, at the same time that the administration of the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has begun in people over 70 years of age.
Despite the fact that a large percentage of the population is immunized against the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health has once again advanced the flu vaccination to the second half of October to avoid a possible healthcare overload.
Every year, the flu vaccine is modified and adapted to the strains that are expected to circulate each season. It is an inactivated vaccine “very safe and effective to avoid a high percentage of hospitalizations and deaths”. For this reason, it is aimed at protecting “people who have a greater risk of presenting complications in the event of suffering from the flu and those who can transmit the disease to others who have a high risk of complications,” indicates Health in the campaign of this season .
What are the target population groups?
Vaccination is the most effective tool to prevent influenza and its complications. Last season, it avoided “26% of hospitalizations, 40% of ICU admissions and 37% of deaths attributable to influenza in people 65 years of age and older,” they add. Thus, the priority population groups to be vaccinated are:
People over 65 years of age. Above all, those that live in closed institutions.
People between six months and 65 years of age who have a high risk of complications derived from the flu due to having any previous pathology: cardiovascular, liver, neuromuscular, pulmonary or metabolic diseases, among others.
Minors (from 6 months) and adults with chronic
cardiovascular, neurological or respiratory diseases, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis and asthma.
Pregnant women in any trimester of gestation and women during the puerperium.
People who can transmit the flu to those who have a high risk of manifesting complications: personnel of health centers, social health, geriatric or professionals who provide care at home, among others.
Health and social health personnel, as well as certain groups considered essential, such as firefighters, members of civil protection, police or personnel of penal institutions.
People with direct occupational exposure to domestic birds or pigs on farms or poultry or pig farms and also to wild birds.
On the other hand, vaccination is recommended for children with a higher risk of complications from suffering from a disease or who are in contact with people who belong to any of these risk groups. However, “minors between 6 months and 2 years of age with a history of prematurity less than 32 weeks gestation should also be vaccinated against influenza.”
Likewise, vaccination is recommended in immunosuppressed patients , such as those with primary or secondary immunodeficiencies to the administration of certain treatments, with cancer, infected by the HIV virus or transplanted.
This vaccine is contraindicated in children under six months of age, in people with allergies to the active ingredients or components of the vaccine, in those who have had a severe allergic reaction before or who have fever or an acute infection at the time of vaccination.