Influenza vaccination cannot be dispensed with in the pandemic

Know the priority groups that will receive the immunizing agent from April. And know how to reconcile with the Covid-19 vaccine

Even with the attention focused on Covid-19, the other immunizations cannot be left aside . Last Wednesday, the 17th, the Ministry of Health announced the National Influenza Vaccination Campaign. The goal is to protect 90% of the target audience against Influenza viruses, which totals more than 79.7 million Brazilians.

Despite the difficulties related to the pandemic, the agency suggests that this new immunization is essential to combat symptoms that can be confused with those of the coronavirus and reduce the burden on health systems. In addition to preventing flu complications, deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the most vulnerable groups.

In its 23rd year, the campaign starts on April 12 and runs until July 9. Vaccination takes place in three stages, divided by the different priority groups:

– 1st stage — from April 12 to May 10: children aged 6 months to 6 years, pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, indigenous peoples and health professionals (25.2 million people).

– 2nd stage — from May 11 to June 8: people over 60 and teachers from public and private schools (32.8 million people).

– 3rd stage — from June 9 to July 9: people with chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, respiratory, cardiac, liver diseases, among others), in addition to other groups of workers (truck drivers, armed forces, port workers, system employees prison, etc.).

The vaccine is around 60 to 70% effective against three types of Influenza virus (H1N1, H2N3 and Influenza B). The Ministry of Health recommends that the person prioritizes the two doses of the vaccine against Covid-19  for, after a minimum interval of 14 days, to be immunized against the flu.

Immunity starts 10 to 15 days after application of the dose, which is single. The vaccine has no known side effects and does not cause flu, as it relies on the inactivated virus. What can happen are some simple reactions such as pain at the site, swelling and redness, which usually disappear after 48 hours.

Anyone who has received the vaccine in previous years should take it again, as it undergoes year after year adaptations to combat the mutations of these viruses. The immunizer is contraindicated for people who have symptoms of the coronavirus, including flu paintings.

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