The cold arrives, temperatures drop and viral circulation rises. In this context, and in order to prevent respiratory diseases that in some cases can become fatal, from the Argentine Society of Vaccinology and Epidemiology (SAVE) urge risk groups to have their vaccines up to date.
The vaccination campaign, called "The post is to get vaccinated", acquires relevance especially considering that, as they warn from the SAVE, about 6 out of 10 Argentines with indication of the influenza vaccine had not received it, and they calculate that the same percentage was not vaccinated against pneumonia.
Meanwhile, they affirm that "33 million Argentines who received their primary scheme against COVID-19 are already in a position to receive a reinforcement because more than 6 months have passed since their last dose."
These diseases are life-threatening in children, older adults, and people with risk factors. Photo Shutterstock,
"After having controlled the pandemic, many people believe that the risk has passed and minimize the need for protection against COVID-19 and also against other life-threatening respiratory diseases and for which we have safe and effective vaccines, such as influenza and pneumonia," says Florencia Cahn, infectious disease doctor, president of SAVE.
And he emphasizes in this sense that vaccination should not only be conceived from the individual level: "Especially in the current context where respiratory symptoms do not give truce and overload the health system, from the SAVE we urge not to lower our arms, because we are still in time to vaccinate against these infections, "he warns.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot
Influenza is a highly transmissible respiratory viral illness that can be mild, severe or even fatal, although hospitalization and death are more common in high-risk groups.
In this sense, they warn that less than half of the people who should have vaccinated were vaccinated: the percentage of immunizations with the influenza vaccine is around 40%, varying according to population groups. That means that, practically, 6 out of 10 Argentines who had an indication to get vaccinated against the flu have not yet done so, reiterate with concern from the SAVE.
And they warn about another fact: "strikingly, 4 out of 10 members ofthe health team, a group very susceptible to contagion, had not been immunized."
Analía Urueña, infectologist and member of the SAVE, indicates that people with indication to receive this vaccine, included in the National Vaccination Calendar, are
- Over 65 years old.
- Under 65 years of age with risk factors.
- Children between 6 months and up to two years.
- Pregnant and postpartum women.
- Health personnel.
Who should get vaccinated against pneumonia
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection, caused by various agents such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, that affects the lungs. "These are formed by small sacs, called alveoli, which in healthy people fill with air when breathing," they indicate from SAVE.
On the other hand, "the alveoli of pneumonia patients are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen absorption," they counter.
Having brought the pandemic under control, many people believe the risk has passed and downplay the need for protection. Photo Shutterstock.
Its symptoms are: fever, shortness of breath, chills, chest pain when breathing or coughing, cough, usually with phlegm (viscous substance that comes from the bottom of the lungs).
Meanwhile, they clarify that although annual or periodic vaccination is not carried out for pneumonia as in influenza and COVID-19, "the groups to whom the vaccination is intended are almost the same, so it is estimated that they are not being reached adequately either."
Urueña says they have an indication to get vaccinated:
- Over 65 years old
- Under 65 with risk factors
- Babies: at 2, 4 and 12 months.
This vaccine is also included in the National Immunization Calendar.
Who should get vaccinated against COVID-19
From the SAVE they realize that recently the Ministry of Health of the Nation advised, despite the fact that the vaccine is not officially included in the calendar, that they be vaccinated:
- Higher risk groups: 6 months after the last dose applied
- Medium risk groups: 6 months after the last dose applied, and reinforce annually
- Low-risk groups: update the booster annually.
This vaccine is free.
Why get vaccinated
Although, as noted, the pandemic is under control, many people must protect themselves against COVID-19 but also from other respiratory diseases that can become dangerous and put their health at risk.
"They are life-threatening diseases, especially at the extremes of life, in the youngest and in the elderly, and in those who have associated risk factors," explains Andrea Uboldi, pediatric infectologist, vice president of SAVE.
The risk factors referred to by the professional are: heart, lung, kidney, metabolic diseases, those linked to neurological development, liver or hematological or immunosuppression (due to HIV / AIDS, chemotherapy, corticosteroid therapy or malignant neoplasms).
People with heart disease make up the risk group, Photo Shutterstock.
"Therefore, we insist that vaccination is a key tool to prevent severe forms of influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19 and that all vaccines can be co-administered; you have to make the most of every vaccination opportunity," Cahn adds.
And they add a fact: according to the figures of the latest vital statistics report of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, 63,018 Argentines died in 2021 from diseases related to the respiratory system, of which 33,812 corresponded to influenza and pneumonia. This represents 8.2% of the total deaths from known causes during that year.
The campaign and where to get vaccinated
Taking all this into account, from June 17 mobile posts called 'Awareness Posts' will be available in different parts of the country, which will disseminate relevant information about these three diseases, inviting the community to consult with their doctor about the convenience of protecting themselves.
"If you are 65 years or older, or you are under 65 years old but belong to a group with risk conditions, get vaccinated against pneumonia and flu in Health Centers, PAMI Pharmacies and Vaccination Points throughout the country," they report.
For more information and details of the days, times and places where the mobile kiosks will be, click here or visit the site www.lapostaesvacunarse.com
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