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Costa Rican begins influenza vaccination campaign

June 11, 2019

Health authorities launched Monday a vaccination campaign against the Influenza A and B viruses.

The campaign will last until July 22 and will target people with diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, pregnant women, the elderly, and other people with risk factors that make them more susceptible to complications and deaths from influenza.

These groups are joined by children between five and six years of age and workers who work in immigration functions at airports and border posts.

The investment in the campaign is $6.7 million, and vaccinations are now available in all health facilities. The Health Ministry’s goal is to immunize 1.3 million people.

“Historically the time of greatest circulation of respiratory viruses has been in the second half of the year, but in 2019 we have seen an increase in the last weeks of May and the first of June,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “For this reason, we ask the population to take preventive measures for these diseases: wash their hands with soap and water, cough and sneeze correctly, stay home if they are sick to avoid contagion, and heed the call of this vaccination campaign against influenza.”

The Costa Rican Social Security System coordinator for the immunization program, Leandra Abarca, explained that the goal of ​​the CCSS is to reduce incidences of respiratory complications associated with flu viruses. She said that since the introduction of the vaccine, in 2004, these complications have been reduced in the national territory.

Health authorities hope that this year, the response of the population to the vaccination call will exceed the results of 2018, when a protection coverage close to 92% was achieved, which was considered satisfactory by the CCSS specialists.

Editor’s note: On Monday, the National Children’s Hospital confirmed two children had died of influenza.

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This story was originally published by Semanario Universidad. It was translated with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report here.

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