Flu jab campaign, November 2019, Majorca.

Flu jab campaign, November 2019, Majorca.

27-08-2020M. À. Cañellas

Getting a flu jab is crucial this year because not only will it immunise people against flu, it will also prevent the total collapse of hospital services and stop people contracting flu and coronavirus at the same time, according to Dr Jordi Reina, Head of Virology at Son Espases Hospital.

"This year it will be more important than ever to get vaccinated against flu,” said Dr Reina.

The Ministry of Health said earlier this week that Spain has joined the centralised purchase of the Covid-19 vaccine which is being manufactured by the British Pharmaceutical Company, AstraZeneca in conjunction with Oxford University.

Dr Reina acknowledged that it is "difficult" to make predictions because the vaccine is still in the testing phase and must be authorised by the World Health Organisation, or WHO.

"It is on the right track, but there is still no guarantee that the Oxford vaccine works," he said.

Dr Reina explained that the vaccine is being trialed with 30,000 healthy people between 18 and 50 years old and that in all probability there will be more than one coronavirus vaccine, as is the case with flu.

“At this time it is not possible to predict what the vaccination schedule will be or which population groups will take priority and despite the progress that’s being made, it's difficult to say when vaccinations will begin," he said, and pointed out that it's also not clear how big a dose of the vaccine people will need.

The Balearic Government bought 180,000 doses of the flu vaccine in June, which is 37% more than usual, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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