Annual vaccinations beginning June

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Next month, the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social will start its annual immunization campaign against the seasonal influenza.

This year, the Caja will apply at least 1.3 million doses. That’s 100,000 more doses than in 2016, in order to provide better coverage for children, according to Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the immunization program for the Caja.

This year, all children between six months and five-years old will be provided the vaccine. It will also be the same case with adults over 60.

The vaccine will be available to anyone considered in a high-risk group such as: patients with cancer, diabetes, morbid obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, pregnant women, patients with neurological disorders and others.

According to Ms. Abarca, the vaccination campaign will be implemented right on time, because the maximum peak of influenza is expected to arrive in July. The timing will cause a good epidemiological impact, she said on a press release.

Ms. Abarca explained that vaccination campaigns have proven to be cost-effective and that over the years the cases and complications from the flu have been on a steep decline.

As of 2014, there were 32,652 influenza cases per every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2015, that figure was 31,325 and in 2016 it decreased again to 27,814.

Ms. Abarca has called on the population to show up to their respective clinics and hospitals to receive protection and reduce the chances of respiratory complications derived from the seasonal flu.

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