EFE.- The demand for the influenza vaccine in Mexico has increased approximately 300% because, according to specialists, people have become more aware of the importance of vaccination and fear of catching this other virus in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic .
“There is a lot of demand for the vaccine. In hospitals such as the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, in 10 days, 70% of the personnel have already been vaccinated, while in other seasons that percentage was achieved in three months, ”said internist Alejandrina Malacara.
In a virtual press conference, the expert pointed out that this year, the Mexican government raised the demand for doses, which went from 30 to 35 million.
“We know that the scenario is complicated by the convergence of influenza with Covid-19, that has posed new challenges and therefore greater agility is required so that vaccines arrive without delay,” he said.
The vaccine, said pediatrician and infectologist Felipe Aguilar, is one of the most effective tools to prevent influenza from leading to serious conditions that require hospitalization and even lead to death.
“This is very important because more than 90% of the people who died in the last two flu seasons were not vaccinated,” he said.
In Mexico, in the last 2019-2020 influenza season, which closed last April, the number of reported cases was 6,344, with just over 130 deaths associated with this disease.
However, because the measurement is only in sentinel units (epidemiological surveillance), the real death toll from influenza each year, according to official figures, is on average between 15,000 and 18,000 people.
For the epidemiologist Alejandro Macías, who was responsible for the management of the influenza epidemic in 2009, the vaccine is not only a protection for people but also for the health system, already threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Although influenza had very little impact in the southern hemisphere, it does not mean that the same will happen to us. We have to be prepared, ”he said.
He warned that the convergence of both viruses can lead to the collapse of hospitals and therefore, in addition to the vaccine, it is important to maintain healthy distance, hygiene and mask measures in all public spaces.
However, specialists insisted that the vaccine is not something that serves to avoid getting sick with influenza and that its effectiveness varies from person to person.
However, they said it is very helpful in preventing the disease from getting complicated. Getting vaccinated “is one of the best things we can do,” said Dr. Macias.
Finally, they insisted on the safety of this biological because, they explained that it only has a part of the virus so, unlike what many believe, it does not cause the disease.
“It is a vaccine that has many decades and is fragmented, it only has a portion that cannot cause disease. We must not forget that getting vaccinated is an act of self-love, ”concluded Felipe Aguilar.