• In last year’s campaign more than 30,000 people were vaccinated against flu in Torrevieja

The Torrevieja Department of Health started it’s flu vaccination campaign on Tuesday with the intention of increasing the vaccination coverage of more than 30,000 vaccines that it undertook last year in health centres from Pilar de la Horadada in the south to the municipality of Rojales in the north.

Vicente García Román, head of Preventive Medicine at the Hospital de Torrevieja, said that “it is very important that the vaccination is carried out every year. Firstly because the protection decreases with the passage of time, and secondly, because the flu virus changes from year to year. For this reason the composition of the vaccine is reviewed and updated every year. ”

He added that “flu vaccines are completely safe, and they are inactivated vaccines that cannot cause the disease. It is important to emphasise this fact and put an end old wives tales and old beliefs. Protection after vaccination it is not immediate, the antibodies take about two weeks to develop, and for this reason the campaign begins at the end of October, before the first cases of influenza appear.”

The campaign is now underway and available at every health centre in the area until 31 January, 2020.

The impact of influenza, in terms of infections and mortality, is very high; and therefore, annual vaccination is a measure especially recommended for high-risk personnel, including adults who are 65 years of age or older and younger people with chronic diseases.

The risk groups to be vaccinated in the 2019-2020 flu campaign are as follows:

  • Elderly people, from 65 years of age. Special emphasis will be placed on those people who live in closed institutions.
  • People under 65 who are at high risk of complications from flu. Minors, from 6 months, and adults with chronic cardiovascular, neurological or respiratory diseases.
  • Adults with diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, chronic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, chronic liver disease or severe neuromuscular disease and immunosuppression.
  • Children between 6 months and 18 years who receive prolonged treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, due to the possibility of developing a Reye syndrome after the flu, or pregnant women.
  • People who can transmit the flu to those who have a high risk of complications: personnel of the centres, services and health facilities, both primary and specialised care and hospital, public or private. People who work in geriatric institutions or centres for chronic nurses, especially those who have continuous contact with vulnerable people. Trainee students in health centres. People who provide home care to high-risk or elderly patients, and people who live in the home, including children from six months of age, with others belonging to some of the high-risk groups.
  • Other groups in which vaccination is recommended. People who work in essential public services (State security forces and bodies, firefighters, civil protection services, staff of prisons and other centres) and people with direct occupational exposure to domestic birds or pigs on farms or poultry farms or pigs and also wild birds.

The minor inconvenience of receiving the vaccine in order to avoid health complications that could aggravate the flu process at a later date is worth putting up with by all those people who are included in any of the risk groups.