Photo: Gabriel Haesbaert (Daily Archive)
A National Flu Immunization Campaign starts in April 12th, but the schedule and logistics of vaccination in the public health system is still surrounded by uncertainties in Santa Maria. This is because the vaccination against Influenza will have to be organized in the middle of the campaign against Covid-19. According to the Ministry of Health, the first group to be immunized should be children (six months to six years), pregnant women, mothers, indigenous peoples and health workers (see below).
Pregnant women and children are not among the public who can receive coronavirus vaccines, since studies and tests of effectiveness have just started for these groups. In the immunization campaign against Influenza, these people will be among the first to be vaccinated. Indians and health professionals were among the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, still in January. Therefore, in this first stage, there should be no conflict with the target audience of the two campaigns.
1st flu vaccination stage should immunize children, pregnant women and health professionals
According to the municipality of Santa Maria, it is not yet known how the flu will be immunized. There are no dates or locations defined yet. “The working group is verifying the possibilities and recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the State Department of Health to carry out the actions in the best possible way for the population” informed the Executive, by means of a note.
According to the Secretary of Health of Santa Maria, Guilherme Ribas, the organization of the flu vaccination campaign depends on the amount initially made available. He says the city hall is still waiting for state and federal guidelines.
– We will probably run both campaigns on alternate days and also try to bring other health units, which today do not offer the vaccine of Covid-19, for the application of doses of any of the vaccines – reports Ribas.
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According to the Ministry of Health, each city is free to choose vaccination days within the nationally established schedule.
14 DAY INTERVAL BETWEEN VACCINES
The recommendations already released by health agencies are that even those who have already had the vaccine against Covid-19 should be immunized against the flu. The Ministry of Health recommends, however, a minimum interval of 14 days between applications, regardless of the order of which vaccine is done first. This is the recommendation of the manufacturers of the doses.
In the case of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, which has an interval of 12 weeks between the two doses, it is possible to make the Influenza vaccine in a period between these two doses (respecting 14 days before and after). In CoronaVac, which has an interval of only 28 days between the two applications, the recommendation is that the person prioritize the two doses of Covid-19 and, just two weeks later, look for the flu vaccine.
The biggest problem with organizing a schedule and logistics is that the priority group for influenza vaccination is almost the same as that for immunization against Covid-19: the elderly, people with chronic diseases and health professionals. Therefore, the orientation is that the target audience of the campaigns should give priority to immunization against the coronavirus and be aware of the interval between both vaccines.
3 VACCINATION STEPS
The national flu immunization campaign will be distributed in three stages, in a staggered way:
- 1st stage – from April 12 to May 10: children, pregnant women, puerperal women, indigenous peoples and health workers (25.2 million people)
- 2nd stage – from May 11 to June 8: elderly and teachers (32.8 million people)
- 3rd stage – from June 9 to July 9: other priority groups, such as people with chronic diseases, truck drivers, security forces and people deprived of their liberty (21.7 million people)
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