The health ministry has acquired more doses of the flu vaccine for this winter. | Miquel À. Cañellas

The flu vaccination campaign in the Balearics will start on October 19, a fortnight earlier than usual, and will run until December 4. The regional health service has increased the number of doses from 131,000 to 180,000.

The earlier start is in order to try and avoid health complications through a possible coincidence of the coronavirus pandemic and a flu epidemic. As well as a potentially greater danger for people in at-risk groups, there is the need to prevent overloading the healthcare system.

Dr. Javier Arranz, spokesperson for the regional infectious diseases committee, has said that there may not be as many flu cases this winter because of coronavirus preventive measures. Nevertheless, the health ministry is looking to try and minimise the cases, while it has also pointed to some studies which suggest that vaccination against influenza could be associated with less severity and lower mortality from Covid-19.

The flu jab will be available to health, social care and other essential services' employees, pregnant women, the over-65s, and people under 65 with conditions that imply a high risk of health complications - cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, liver and kidney disease, among others.