The national vaccination campaign against H3N2 influenza has not officially started this year, but health authorities and authorities indicate that vaccinations against other types of influenza will continue, in parallel with the Covid-19 vaccine. Expectations, according to the Ministry of Health, are that vaccines against the new type of influenza (H3N2) will be introduced to states and municipalities at the end of March.
In basic health units (UBSs) in Canoas, influenza A, B and C vaccination continues to be used.
Municipal Health Minister Maicon Lemos recalls that the interval between the flu shot and the Covid vaccine is no longer necessary. “The two serums can be used, even on the same day,” he explains.
Even if current immune systems focus on other types of influenza virus, particularly H1N1, research has shown that they are also effective in preventing more severe cases of H3N2, which can have more serious consequences, especially if combined with Covid.
The main signs of infection with the H3N2 virus are a runny nose, severe sore throat, fever, and back pain. Lemos, who contracted the virus at the end of last year, highlights that the symptoms are very similar to other types of the disease.
“The difference is that this virus causes acute respiratory syndrome more severely, and it can develop into cases of pneumonia where intubation is necessary, so vaccination and prevention are important,” he stressed.
In addition to avoiding Covid-19, care must also include constant hand hygiene, avoidance of unventilated environments, and wearing masks. Lemos stresses that what is recommended for those who show symptoms of the flu is to seek treatment and stay at home to recover.
The new version of the trivalent influenza immune system, consisting of H1N1, H3N2 (Darwin) and the B strain.
According to Limus, the national influenza vaccination campaign should follow the model of previous years, reaching first the priority groups – people with comorbidities, the elderly, children (6 months to 5 years) and pregnant women.
“The flu vaccine and the Covid-19 vaccine are essential for us to beat the pandemic,” Lemos asserts.
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