Health ministry does not plan a vaccination drive yet

The health ministry says it does not recommend flu shots for the population and it is not planning any type of immediate vaccination effort.

The announcement comes as residents are concerned by the death of nine persons in public hospitals from swine flu. Many others are being hospitalized.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and the Ministerio de Salud are expected to outline the situation in detail today with a morning press conference. Attending will be a representative from the Pan America Health Organization, said an announcement.

Swine flu is not the only respiratory virus making the rounds. There are many hospitalized as a result of infections by other varieties.

It was  Roberto Arroba Tijerino, vaccination coordinator for the health ministry, who said a vaccination campaign was not necessary. He said that a study in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the flu virus circulates in Costa Rica between May and September and the virus is the type that is found in the Southern Hemisphere.

He also said that a vaccination campaign is planned for next April and May when appropriate vaccines arrive in the country.

His statement did not address the fact thatthe swine flu virus, AH1N1, obviously is circulating now.

However, some expats reported that that when they sought flu shots this week they were told that the only vaccines that exist are those designed for the previous year. Consequenlty they did not receive shots.

The flu virus mutates rapidly, and vaccines have to be prepared each year based on the latest variety.

Consequently they did not receive shots.

The flu virus mutates rapidly, and vaccines have to be prepared each year based on the latest variety.

The Caja reported that of the nine persons who died only one had had a flu shot. The victims usually are those with some form of medical problems or are very young or elderly.

The bulk of the cases are in San Carlos, Cartago. and Alajuela.

The  Pan American Health Organization in its last weekly report for 2015 said that the incidents of flu were relatively low in Central America. But all flu cases did show an increase in the last month of the year.

The agency’s statistics show that all types of flu typically take a jump during the first month or two of the year. The statistics are generated by reports from the health ministries in the various countries to the World Health Organization regional agency.

Health officials are worried that the return of thousands of holiday travelers from Nicaragua will result in more cases.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *