Influenza Vaccination to Begin in November: Ministry of HealthBy Antonio Gozain | Fri, 10/01/2021 - 10:36
The national influenza vaccination campaign is set to begin on Nov. 3, 2021, rather than in the first week of October as in previous years, informed the Ministry of Health.
"Given the low incidence of influenza last year, the health sector informs that on next Nov. 3 the vaccination campaign against influenza 2021-2022 will begin, with 32.33 million doses for the population across the national territory, of which 15 million are for the Ministry of Health," said the Ministry of Health.
The behavior of influenza in Mexico is below the usual parameters due to the sanitary measures implemented to fight COVID-19, such as hand-washing, facemasks and social distancing, according to the Ministry of Health.
“The 2021-2022 influenza season in the northern hemisphere goes from week 40 of 2021 to week 20 of 2022. During that season, an increase in the number of influenza cases is expected, with the maximum peak of infections during the months of January and February.”
All healthcare institutions have enough supplies and personnel to provide priority care for children from six-months-old to 59-months-old, elder adults, pregnant women, health personnel and those at risk of severe illness in case of contagion, said the Ministry of Health. The vaccine distribution processes is being carried out by COFEPRIS to ensure that “the distribution of the doses will begin in the second half of October, to reach the most remote places in the country and formally start at the scheduled time."
Influenza kills hundreds of Mexicans every year, according to INEGI. In 2009, Mexico faced the AH1N1 influenza pandemic that led to over 70,000 cases and 1,172 deaths, which served as a guide for the arrival of COVID-19, according to Guillermo Domínguez Cherit, Deputy Director of the Critical Medicine Area at INCMNSZ. “In a way, AH1N1 gave us knowledge on how to manage a pandemic. We knew how to adapt the hospital bed capacity as we had already managed a virus outbreak,” he said to MBN.
During October 2020, Mexico registered its first simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and influenza AH1N1. With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, authorities urged citizens to maintain the safety measures and get their influenza vaccines if needed.