The Catalan pharmacies will not dispense the flu vaccine, which will begin to be administered from next October 15, despite the fact that in previous campaigns it was possible to acquire the drug in these establishments in a particular way. Both the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities have made centralized purchases of the doses, which has left out the pharmacy offices. In total, they are expected to be administered around 13 million doses. Of these, 8.5 million will be distributed among the autonomies for their vaccination plans and Health will keep another five million as a reserve.
This extraordinary acquisition has left the 22,000 pharmacies throughout Spain without the option to purchase, reported the newspaper ‘ABC’. The General Council of Pharmacists negotiates with the four laboratories that supply the flu vaccine in Spain and the pharmacies defend themselves as best they can before the avalanche of requests and inquiries they are getting already.
Frightened by the covid-19, fear and uncertainty about the similarities between symptoms of both diseases have made the population, especially people from risk groups, be more cautious this year than ever. According to those in charge of the pharmacies, there are already people who are asking for remedies for the flu season and are concerned at the lack of information from Salut. Neither the Col·legi de Farmacèutics de Catalunya has provided, to questions from this newspaper, more details about how the vaccination campaign will be developed.
In facilities outside the CAP
The vaccine will be accessible in health centers, which this year, to avoid possible infections, will administer it in other municipal facilities or civic centers to avoid possible collapses. The first doses that are distributed will be directed to the most vulnerable groups such as people over 65 years of age and health workers. In addition, the focus will be expanded to reach the maximum population possible to avoid a possible collapse of the health system. The objective, say sources from the Ministry of Health, is to “separate the two circuits well” (that is, the covid from the non-covid) and “look for alternative spaces”.
The incidence that the conventional flu will have this year is, like every winter, a doubt, but everything indicates that the widespread use of masks by the population could contribute to lower infections compared to other years. “We have seen that this year the flu virus has been a little more benevolent, because people have been confined and because they have used a mask, which limits the transmission of various respiratory groups,” Iván Sanz, the person in charge, recently explained to this newspaper. scientist and virological surveillance of the National Flu Center of Valladolid.