Over 65's are advised to have a flu shot.

Over 65's are advised to have a flu shot.

05-11-2019D. Espinosa

The Balearic Government has bought 180,000 flu vaccines for this winter, which is 37% more than last year, making 131,000 extra doses available.

Dr Edelmiro Vergés, Primary Care Paediatrician and a Member of the Balearic Vaccine Advisory Committee, says "vaccination is recommended for anyone over 65 years old, patients with chronic pathologies, Healthcare Professionals and Essential Personnel".

IB-Salut wants to make sure it’s prepared for the possibility that flu and coronavirus could coincide during the winter season.

The flu vaccination campaign in the Balearic Islands usually starts in November and so far there are no plans to bring it forward, but extra precautions will be put in place.

“There is a certain percentage of coronaviruses that co-infect with other viruses, which could be 5 or 6, and pneumococcus, 50%,” said Dr Vergés. "In September all the patients that come to the Health Centre will be infectious, so everyone will have to be tested for Covid-19.”

He also recommends vaccinating the entire population.

"We should get vaccinated, even more so this year. If we get vaccinated against the flu and there is a high coverage, due to the herd effect there will be fewer cases and we will be able to better differentiate which is coronavirus and which is the common flu,” adds Marga Cañellas, IB-Salut Pediatrics Coordinator.

"There are very few cases in which both diseases are suffered at the same time, there is always a dominant one when there is a co-infection, which will be Covid-19,” says Dr Vergés.

The vaccine is made from egg protein and production usually starts in February.

“Everyone wants to buy the flu vaccine and the laboratories won’t be able to cope because they won’t have enough, but a cell vaccine can be manufactured now as an alternative.

Mass Flu Vaccination

A second wave of coronavirus is expected this Autumn and Health Authorities throughout Spain are already preparing for it. Mass vaccinations against the common flu virus will relieve the pressure of care, because both ailments have very similar symptoms.

Health authorities are still considering the possibility of bringing this year's flu vaccination campaign forward, according to Fernando Simón, Director of the Health Alerts & Emergencies Coordination Centre, or CCAES.

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