The autumn flu vaccination campaign in Andalusia begins in health centres across the region from today Thursday, 14 October.
The Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, has announced that the administration of the Influenza vaccine has begun, as almost 52,600 vaccinations will be delivered throughout Andalusia.
The region has therefore become the first autonomous community to start the 2021/2022 campaign.
The announcement was made during his visit to the nursing home Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores de Córdoba, where he was accompanied by the general director of Social and Health Care of the Junta de Andalucía, José Repiso, the general director of Public Health, José María de Torres, and the director of the Vaccination Plan of Andalusia, David Moreno.
The focus at first will be on the elderly in care homes, health professionals and social health professionals. Following on from them on October 18, all those over the age of 65, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases will be offered the vaccine, followed by other essential professional groups such as the security forces from November 2.
According to the Junta de Andalucía, it will be administering 45,014 doses of the vaccine to residents in care homes and 7,567 to users of disability centres. Aguirre said that "Andalusia is ahead of the inoculation of this vaccine with the aim of protecting the most vulnerable people".
"Although the incidence of influenza last year was zero, we must not lower our guard and for this campaign, we follow the same protocols as previous campaigns", pointed out the counsellor and added that "vaccination, in addition to preventing the possibility of suffering from influenza infection and its complications, contributes to decongest the health system and reduce sick leave.”
In total,1,645,000 doses of the vaccine have been purchased throughout the autonomous community. The counsellor explained that "in Andalusia, we have the best influenza vaccines currently available for each vaccination target group, since all the vaccines to be used will be tetravalent, that is, with two influenza A strains and two influenza strains B, so that the potential protection is the greatest possible.
“In addition, for people older than 60 years institutionalized in residential centres for the elderly, the population most vulnerable to influenza, there will be a vaccine with a higher antigen load, to optimize the maximum immune response to vaccination and that they are very well protected".
Depending on how many doses of the vaccination are then available, at the beginning of December home carers and partners at home with anyone over the age of 65 (group 2), or those at risk (group 3) will be given the jab.
Inmaculada Salcedo, the coordinator of the Coronavirus Monitoring Advisory Group in Andalusia, has asked for anyone who is in the above groups to have the flu vaccination. She pointed out in an interview on Canal Sur Radio, that some people lose their immunity and are therefore at a level seven risk of contracting the virus and dying, “The decision is far-reaching.” she said.
The Junta are keen to get the vaccines rolled out as quickly as possible and for this reason, they have put more than 1,600 vaccination points in place throughout the autonomous community.
"Our goal is to achieve the greatest possible coverage," added Aguirre, who assures that "the campaign is long and there will be time to vaccinate all those who need it."
With the Covid-19 virus still in circulation and the flu season just around the corner, how can you tell the difference between the two?
Both viruses are contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. The flu virus is caused by an infection from Influenza viruses, whilst Covid is a virus caused by an infection from a Coronavirus that was first identified in 2019.
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, the difference between them cannot be made based on symptoms alone. For this reason, it is important to get tested so that a correct diagnosis can be given.
People can be infected with both flu and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time and have symptoms of both influenza and COVID-19.
Covid-19 also seems to spread more easily than the flu virus, but as more and more people become fully vaccinated against the Covid virus, the spread of it should slow down.
Also compared to flu, Covid-19 can lead to more serious illnesses in some people, it can also take longer for symptoms to appear, meaning some may not know that they are infectious. It also means that people could be contagious for a longer period of time.
Image Credit: Junta de Andalucía
November 22, 2021
November 22, 2021