155,000 fewer doses than in 2022

Achieve vaccination coverage equal to or greater than 75% among people aged 65 years and older. It was with this goal in mind that the Ministry of Health started its vaccination campaign against Covid and influenza on October 2. Today, this age group has an enrollment rate of 63.2%. A percentage that is still far from the established threshold that the Principality approached in 2022, managing to protect 72% of the population in this age group.

That is why, coinciding with the current peak of respiratory infections, the Ministry of Health decided to extend the immunization period and create immediate vaccination points – that is, without an appointment – in eight health centers in the region. Therefore, and given the high rate of hospitalizations occurring primarily due to influenza A, the goal is to reduce the risk of serious complications.

These devices were put into operation last Friday at the Cangas del Narcea Medical Center, at HUCA (Oviedo) and at the Oriente (Arriondas), Álvarez Buya (Mieres) and San Agustin (Aviles) hospitals. Vaccination points planned at the Harrio Hospital and the El Natajoyo Health Center in Gijon will open today. And starting tomorrow Tuesday, the La Felguera Medical Center will also begin to provide preventative care without an appointment.

At HUCA in particular, the new device recorded “much more activity” than expected on its first day of operation, with sometimes even a queue for vaccinations. According to the latest data provided by the Ministry, there are 420,000 people in Asturias protected against respiratory viruses, a figure that includes those who have been vaccinated against influenza and Covid, as well as newborns who have received prophylaxis against syncytial virus. emerging childhood bronchiolitis.

The 2022 campaign, which began in September rather than October, has already administered 253,075 flu doses and 322,799 coronavirus shots as of Dec. 31. Total: 575,874 punctures. Health officials hope that this difference (155,874 fewer vaccinated) will be reduced thanks to measures being taken to intensify immunization. If the incidence of serious respiratory infections does not decrease, “spreading the campaign to the entire population cannot be ruled out.”

Vaccination is currently targeting people over 60; chronically ill; people with a clinical risk situation; immunocompromised patients; pregnant women; residents of social health centers; smokers; and essential workers. This year, for the first time, children aged 6 months to 5 years are being vaccinated against influenza, for whom the Principality has purchased intranasal doses. “In 2022, the fear of Covid led to flu shots because they were also being given at the same time. But this fear disappeared, so vaccination rates decreased,” the ministry states.

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