Several citizens, as well as pharmaceutical associations, expected it to be granted from today, Wednesday, but in the end, legislation is required, which is not ready.
With slight delaythan originally expected from pharmaceutical associations, but also citizensis about to start being granted over-the-counter flu vaccine from neighborhood pharmacies.
And that’s because thousands of citizens were informed by the Mass Media and announcements of pharmaceutical associations that the vaccination starts tomorrow, Wednesday, but that will not happen.
As most pharmacies were ready, late Wednesday afternoon, Mr Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PFS) informed its members that “we were informed by the Ministry of Health, that a new legislative provision is required in order to implement for this year what was valid for last year with Article 59 of Law 5007/23.12.23 “Influenza vaccination of the adult population during the period 2022-2023 ” and the passing of the corresponding article will take place next Thursday».
Once voted, IDIKA, as we have been informed, states the PFS, will implement the interconnection of the pharmacy programs with the platform of the National Immunization Registry, for the registration of vaccination procedures without a medical prescription and the issuance of the relevant forms, just as last year’s procedure provided for.
Hence, over-the-counter flu shots pharmacists are expected to start on Friday or at the latest on Monday, if of course the interconnection of the pharmacy programs with the National Immunization Registry platform by IDIKA takes place immediately.
Otherwise, according to well-informed sources, there will be a new conflict with the Ministry of Health, as the pharmacists have already come into sharp confrontation with the Deputy Minister of Health Irini Agapidakis on the occasion of the availability of vaccines in pharmacies without a medical prescription.
It is clarified that the Ministry of Health had announced that vaccinations in pharmacies will start in early Novemberbut without committing to a specific date.
Available at pharmacies throughout the country
Pharmacies have already procured the preparations, which are estimated to be sufficient for the demand.
According to EOPYY, vaccines are divided into three categories:
- The new type Fluad Tetra vaccine with adjuvant, given for influenza prophylaxis in people over 65 years of age.
- Conventional Efluelda indicated for active immunization for prevention at ages 60 and over.
- Flucelvax is given to prevent influenza in adults and children over 2 years of age
Who is and who is not eligible for the over-the-counter flu vaccine
The conventional flu vaccine is given free of charge and without a prescription in aged persons 60 years and older, as well as in specific groups of increased riski.e. people with underlying diseases.
Also, to people who work in hospitals, Health Centers, Elderly Care Units and generally professionals who have contact with elderly people or people who are sick.
Another category that is entitled to the flu vaccine free of charge and without a prescription is: people who come into contact with infants under 6 months of ageas are the parents or carers of infants or anyone who cares for or comes into contact with infants.
In fact, through the category “people who come into contact with infants” pharmacists can administer the vaccine to any healthy adultas the grant is made by declaration of the person who wishes to be vaccinated and no documents or evidence are required.
It is clarified that infants under 6 months of age are not recommended to be vaccinated against the flu, which is why it is important to vaccinate their environment.
Concerning people over 65 years oldwhich are recommended by the National Vaccination Committee to get the new type of flu vaccine, should necessarily visit a doctor, because this particular one will only be given with a medical prescription.
“The Ministry of Health, following the recommendations of the National Immunization Committee, provides the possibility of vaccination for the new type and very expensive vaccines with a prescription“, says the Ministry of Health in a statement.
Of course, there is also the option for someone who is over 65 years old to get the conventional vaccine at the pharmacy, without needing a medical prescription.
To get the vaccine, citizens should know (or have noted) their AMKAso that they report it to the pharmacist.
Low flu levels in our country
Seasonal flu in Europe is on the same level as last year, with influenza subscriptions showing a slight upward trend in a few countries during the week ending last Sunday.
In GREECE, just 2.5% of all doctor visits refers to symptoms such as fever, malaise, headache, myalgias, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. The corresponding percentage last year it was 4%.
However, the vaccine should be given before the start of the increase in flu casesas it takes at least 15 days from administration to be considered effective
According to the EODY data, the highest percentages concern people aged 15 to 64 (5% of visits) and people over 65 (4% of doctor visits).
Last week, they were not registered in our country severe cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza with hospitalization in the ICUwhile in the last two weeks two people with flu have been hospitalized in ICU.
In the last two weeks, eh163 clinical samples have been tested, 4 from hospitals and 159 by the Primary Care Morbidity Watch Network.
The 7 (4%) of these were positive for influenza viruses and specifically 6 (86%) were type A and one (14%) type B. The type A strains all belonged to subtype A(H1N1)pdm09.
The examination of 168 samples in seven private hospitals has shown that the 2% were positive for influenza1% for RSV, 6% for adenovirus and rhinovirus–enterovirus, and 31% for rhinovirus–enterovirus.