Foreign vaccination blockade puts hundreds of Gipuzkoans’ travels at risk

Finding an appointment to get vaccinated against typhus, yellow fever or hepatitis A is proving difficult for many Gipuzkoans who plan to travel to foreign countries in the coming weeks. The plight of vaccination centers abroad in the Basque Country is such that, as of today, the first available consultation is on 4 October, not for another two months. Nevertheless, anyone who travels to one of these destinations must follow this procedure to be immunized against certain viruses or bacteria, such as those that cause rabies or cholera.

On an August morning like any other, the person in charge of making way for people arriving by appointment at the government sub-delegation in Gipuzkoa, where the International Vaccination Center is located, explains that “there are about twenty appointments arranged “. At around 10:20 a.m. Ander and Joan appear, having “been trying to get an appointment since the beginning of the year.” We finally got one for today in May, although they had already told us we were lucky,” says the couple from Irundara, who will spend their honeymoon in Africa (in Kenya and Tanzania) at the end of September.

recommended vaccinations

  • cuba
    Hepatitis A and typhoid fever (typhus).

  • Mexico
    Hepatitis A, Rabies and Typhus.

  • Costa Rica
    Hepatitis A and typhus.

  • Central and South America

  • Argentina
    Hepatitis A, yellow fever, rabies and typhus.

  • Brazil
    Hepatitis A, yellow fever, rabies, typhus.

  • Morocco
    Hepatitis A, typhus and rabies.

  • Senegal and Gambia
    Yellow fever, hepatitis A, cholera, typhus, meningococcal and rabies.

  • Egypt
    Hepatitis A, typhus and rabies.

  • Saudi Arab

  • Kenya
    Hepatitis A, yellow fever, cholera, typhus, rabies and meningococcal.

  • China
    Hepatitis A, Typhus, Japanese Encephalitis, Cholera and Rabies.

  • Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Thailand
    Hepatitis A, Typhus, Japanese Encephalitis, Cholera and Rabies.

Shortly afterwards, Ecan Mendiola arrives, another young man who has come from Guernica to the center of Gipuzkoa for the same purpose. This Biscayan has no other choice but to travel to Donostia. “In Bilbao there was no chance they would call me before September, by which time I would have traveled to Taiwan,” he complains. That’s why he tried it in Gipuzkoa. He says with relief, “It must have happened by chance, but last week I saw the website and it indicated I could make an appointment today, so I didn’t think about it, I took it and here I am.” ”

“In Bilbao they don’t come to me until September, and by then I’ll be out”

However, another couple hasn’t been so lucky. Elixabete and Alvaro agree that “it is practically impossible to obtain an appointment.” They have been waiting for months to get counseling to clear their doubts about the vaccinations recommended for travel to Sri Lanka, and they walk in water up to their necks. “We are leaving in a few days. Let’s see what they tell us today, but I don’t know if this will give us time to vaccinate because the dose needs a few days to take effect,” said Alixbete Says, who travels to the Asian country to take a course to become a yoga instructor.

The organization and concerns associated with a trip are varied. From booking plane tickets to planning an itinerary or finding out where the destination is to be visited are indispensable points. It is also important to keep vaccinations in mind while traveling to a foreign country during this entire process, to reduce the risk of getting sick and spoiling the experience of spending nights in bed and visiting health facilities.

“It’s Saved for the Last”

Marisa Fidalgo, head of foreign health at the government delegation in Euskadi, states that sometimes travelers “worry before rest” about travel-related aspects, such as flights, accommodation reservations, etc., but even then, “they Forgets.” Vaccination, leave it for the last moment. For this reason, and because of “staff furloughs as well as the loss of a health worker”, there are “long waiting lists”.

“In May they gave us an appointment for August and they’ve already told us that we’ve been very lucky…”

The person in charge explains that the accumulation of requests usually occurs every year. This is not a new thing. However, last year and this year, especially in the months of June and July, a “record number” of delays has been reached due to the population’s desire to travel after the pandemic. That’s why Fidalgo recommends that travelers “contact us as soon as they book their trips to resolve health concerns in sufficient time.” When you wait till the last moment, demand tends to accumulate and it becomes difficult to respond to all at the same time,” he explains.

To deal with this overload, the Bizkaia vaccination center has added another doctor to the Bilbao headquarters, highlights Fidalgo, who says that “reinforced the three centers in the Basque Country (Bilbao, San Sebastián and Vitoria) being vaccinated and supporting each other. In both Bizkaia and Álava, Gipuzkoans are being vaccinated, and vice versa. Likewise, the person in charge details the different procedures to be followed depending on the status of the travelers Is.

priority matters

Priority cases are considered to be those in which “the person travels to a country where the injection is mandatory”. Also if it is a business trip. “In these cases it is understandable that the notice takes place without excessive advance notice.” These conditions “are given greater importance,” as well as families traveling to and associating with children in high health risk countries. In these cases, if necessary, health workers can extend their working hours to care for the maximum number of patients possible.

Donostia “We are traveling to Sri Lanka next week and it will take several days for the dose to take effect”

Of course, “appointments for these cases must be made by telephone or e-mail,” Fidalgo insisted, because as of today, there is no possibility to obtain an appointment electronically until October.

Of the vaccines recommended for foreign countries but which need to be administered in health centers, the most prescribed last month in Gipuzkoa were against typhoid fever, with 238, more than half of the total of 423. It is an infectious disease that is usually spread through contaminated food or drink and is more prone to spread in Africa, Central and South America.

This is followed by the Hepatitis A vaccine, which was given to 161 passengers. This virus, which causes inflammation of the liver, is spread in the same way as typhoid fever: by eating contaminated food or liquids, as well as by direct contact with an infected person.

Of those injected at the International Vaccination Center, which reached 102 doses in July, most (87) were against yellow fever, a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, which is essential to prevent. itself before visiting the tropical regions of Africa, Central America and South America.

Ender is one of the people who will receive this dose, because as he was informed at the center, he has to come back in a week to get the injection. However, his partner Joan has already been vaccinated against the virus, and is therefore immune.

Source link

Leave a Comment