In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the Public Health Commission has insisted on the need to increase flu vaccination coverage for the 2021-2022 season. To do this, the following coverage objectives have been set out: to reach or exceed the 75 percent in older and in health and social health personnel. Given this circumstance, the possibility of vaccinate health workers at the same moment of Covid-19 and flu, thus increasing coverage. A strategy that vaccinologists support and that generates posture differences among healthcare professionals.
In this stage, Fernando Moraga-Llop, vice president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination (AEV) argues that if a third booster dose Covid for these groups and co-administered with influenza would be a “Good vaccination strategy”.
“Although now in Spain it is recommended to leave a one week interval after the Covid vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English) a few days ago they said that they could co-administer coronavirus vaccines with other injections, without leaving a week as recommended here ”, explains the vaccinologist.
For its part, Angel Hernandez Merino, member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, explains that although at this time there is a “recommendation” not to match the Covid vaccine with others, “we will act again as we have traditionally done.”
“All inactivated vaccines can be managed simultaneously. Some studies are underway that seek to clarify whether there is any interference between the immunogenicity between one and the other, but we do not expect that they have surprises in these investigations ”, argues Hernández.
Regarding the vaccines that are needed for this “co-administration”, Moraga-Llop suggests that for influenza the tetravalent vaccine while for the Covid the one that “corresponds to the vaccination strategy in force in Spain ”. Hernández, meanwhile, indicates that he believes that it could be co-administered with Pfizer and Moderna, but states that it is an issue that he has not yet handled with “precision.”
Nursing, in favor of a coordinated strategy
Nursing does contemplate this simultaneous vaccination, as long as a previously implemented coordinated strategy in all the Autonomous Communities to inform and sensitize all healthcare professionals.
In this regard, the Nursing Union (Satse) understands that, as flu vaccination is a personal act of a voluntary nature, it is necessary to draw up a strategy in which it is stressed that the current circumstances derived from the Covid-19 pandemic are not those of previous years, in order to achieve a higher percentage of vaccination in the health field. Precisely, the Public Health Commission has addressed this issue due to the synergistic effect observed between the influenza virus and SARS CoV-2, which multiplies by two the risk of death in case of coinfection.
Therefore, Satse emphasizes that there must be, for this, an agreement within the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS) that commits all health services, since the active and coordinated involvement of all health services is required. public administrations.
The group has also ruled on the possibility of vaccinating health professionals on the same day for influenza and Covid. In this sense, the union understands that this decision corresponds to the different administrations once the studies and scientific criteria in this regard have been evaluated and the best way to proceed has been adopted by consensus.
Doctors hope that the two campaigns do not overlap
Although they acknowledge that there is still some uncertainty as to the revaccination, the doctors hope that, in the event that this ‘double’ vaccination finally occurs, the two campaigns will not overlap. “Most likely have to re-vaccinate against Covid but we do not know when, in what way or in what period of time “, he explains Manuela Garcia as Second Vice President of the Collegiate Medical Organization (OMC).
The group is aware of the problems that the flu virus can cause, with respiratory symptoms, which is why, like last year, it is “very important to have the population vaccinated”, especially those who are at risk. “Evidently can be an overload“for the system if it coincides with the booster doses, Garcia warns, calm, however, recognizing that Spain has” a wide culture in vaccination“as the campaign is repeated every year.
“Let’s hope they do not overlap and if they overlap in part, they can be coordinated,” says the doctor, who fully trusts the organizational capacity of the SNS. Valuing the role of Primary Care throughout the pandemic, and especially in the area of vaccination, García has “no doubt” that he will be able to assume a revaccination in a later scenario.
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