On Sunday, November 13, 2022, a new vaccination campaign against influenza will start in Ecuador. That day, in the Bicentennial Park, located in the north of Quito, the immunization will take place from 09:00.
Esteban Bonilla, director of immunizations of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), points out that the campaign is planned to last until February 2023, however, it is important to analyze the epidemiological context, how the cases of the disease are and if it is necessary to extend or not the vaccination.
For this campaign, the Ministry of Health has 4.6 million doses that will be available in all health centers in the country. There will also be mobile brigades .
The official recalled that this year’s scenario is different from that of 2020 and 2021, when cases of influenza were lower and those of covid-19 predominated. Also, people were still wearing masks and there were restrictions.
“Now the dynamics have changed, we expect a higher number of cases. In 2021, vaccination began in December, but we advanced it to November,” says Bonilla.
In that sense, he mentions that for a few weeks in the country there have already been cases of serious influenza infection and there are hospitalized patients.
For this reason, he stressed the importance of older adults , pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, with immunosuppression and children from six months to four years of age getting the vaccine.
Bonilla adds that the influenza virus circulates periodically in the southern and northern hemispheres . In the first it starts in the middle of the year, so the vaccine is applied in that season. In the second, on the other hand, it is between October and November and ends in February or March.
In Ecuador , the circulation of the virus is more predominant between October and November, and the greatest number of serious cases occur in December. Due to this, the doses begin to be placed a month before.
Vaccines against covid-19
The vaccination process against covid-19 continues in the country, and these biologicals will be available on the day the campaign is launched.
The director of Immunizations mentions that both covid and influenza are still important diseases and if they get worse they can cause death. He recalled that in some cases, the two coexist, that is, they occur at the same time, which multiplies the risk.
“Scientific evidence has shown that the two vaccines can be administered at the same time,” says Bonilla.
In addition to vaccination against influenza and covid-19, the official recommends maintaining measures such as the use of a mask if a person has respiratory symptoms, as well as frequent hand washing.
On November 13, on the Bicentennial, regular vaccinations will also be applied to minors.