This October 15 the Free Vaccination Campaign against Influenza begins, announced Dr. Pablo Kuri Morales, Sub-minister of Prevention and Health Promotion, at a press conference. He also unveiled the actions the Ministry of Health will carry out during the 2014-2015 cold season.
The press conference was assisted by Dr. Cuitlahuac Ruiz Matus, General Director of Epidemiology; Dr. Eduardo Jaramillo, General Director of Health Promotion; Dr. Ignacio Villaseñor, General Director of the National Center for Health of Children and Adolescents, and Jesus Felipe González, General Director of the National Centre for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE).
The campaign has 32 million doses to be applied to groups in high-risk of contracting the disease, including infants from six months to five years, pregnant women, older adults and people with chronic diseases, such as severe obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, heart problems, severe respiratory diseases, HIV or cancer.
The Sub-minister said that six million extra vaccines were acquired this year, to timely protect the population requiring it. He called for people who are among the risk groups to attend to their corresponding medical units, around the country, to be vaccinated.
The vaccine protects people against the H3N2 virus, as well as influenzas type B and H1N1, which are considered seasonal.
He explained that the prevention actions carried out are an established public policy that began operating in 2000, aiming to inform people about the preventive measures to be taken when cold fronts take place during the winter season.
Kuri Morales also mentioned that the goal is to protect the population exposed to low temperatures, as each year about 27 million viral respiratory infections of the upper airways are reported.
In response, the functionary stressed that people need to take measures to reduce the risk of contracting a respiratory disease. For this reason, he recommended to receive the vaccine against influenza and maintain personal hygiene and proper sanitation – i.e. hand washing, sneezing etiquette, no spitting, disinfect surfaces and common use objects.
He also recommended wearing appropriate clothing such as hat, gloves and scarf; also avoiding exposure to sudden temperature changes and drafts, eating foods rich in vitamin C and D and drinking plenty of fluids, plus not self-medicating and consulting a physician in the presence of any respiratory problem.
Through: Secretaría de Salud (Mexican Ministry of Health)