While all the attention in recent months has focused on anti Covid vaccinations, the Regions go random on the start of another vaccination campaign, the one againstinfluenza. From the Campania (where the doses were distributed to family doctors already at the end of September) and from Lazio (the first region to start with the combined administration of the two anti Covid and anti flu vaccines after the OK of the Ministry of Health) until Veneto, where the start is currently scheduled for 2 November. All in the face of recommendations of the ministry which, like last year, they asked to anticipate the campaigns at the beginning of October, to limit the circulation of seasonal flu as much as possible in order to facilitate the diagnosis of Covid and avoid clogging hospitals. Indications contained in the April ministerial circular, which again this year recommends vaccination for over 60s, children aged 6 months – 6 years, as well as frail people and health workers.
The delay of most of the Regions, second Silvestro Scotti, national secretary of the Federation of general practitioners (Fimmg), “it will not be a problem with respect to the spread of influenza, but it may have organizational consequences, given that many family doctors will have to manage three different vaccinations: anti Covid, anti flu and anti pneumococcus “. If this year there weren’t the problems of 2020 in terms of the supply of doses, it could instead be a unfavorable element the fact that a year ago the spread of infections was reduced thanks to social distancing, closures and the use of masks: “Now we have a larger population of people who have not had contact with the variants circulating in the previous season, which will also be partly present in this one. Which expands the audience of the vulnerable”.
The flu campaign this year will be able to count not only on family doctors and on the clinics of the various local health companies, but also on hub where anti vaccinations are in progress Covid and on pharmacy, where for the first time the doses can be not only purchased, but also administered. If, as mentioned, Campania and Lazio are in line with the times recommended by the ministry, let’s see what happens elsewhere.
Lombardy – Since 7 October, the flu vaccine has been offered to over 80s and immunocompromised citizens in co-administration with the third dose of anti Covid in vaccination centers. The administration not combined with the anti Covid will instead start from mid-October in the clinics of general practitioners who adhere to the campaign, while from 28 October it will be possible to book vaccination in the nearest center on a dedicated computer platform.
Piedmont – The campaign started on October 14, with the support of general practitioners. Co-vaccination will be possible in the medical offices that have joined the Covid vaccination campaign.
Emilia Romagna – The “official” start of the campaign has been scheduled for October 25. But the Region has made it known that the co-administration of influenza and anti Covid-19 vaccines may be considered by the individual Ausl even earlier based on the availability of vaccines. And in these days the delivery of doses to family doctors is starting, that so they will be able to leave earlier than expected with the administrations, as explained to ilfattoquotidiano.it Renzo Le Pera, doctor with practice near Bologna and deputy national secretary of the Fimmg.
Tuscany – Influenza vaccinations will begin on October 25 for patients over 70 with diseases, who will receive the adjuvanted quadrivalent vaccine. The guests of the RSA will follow, with departure by mid-November, while all the others entitled, including employees of the regional health system and workers in essential services will have to wait until the last ten days of November. A time schedule that according to the governor Eugenio Giani it is “the result of assessments relating to the fact that in recent years the flu epidemic has manifested itself above all in the first months of the year. The aim was therefore to ensure the highest possible coverage in the months in which the flu is most evident “. Also here the combined administration of anti Covid and anti flu is possible, even if the priority to the administration of the third dose of anti Covid according to schedule, to then administer the flu vaccine on schedule.
Veneto – The date for the start of the influenza vaccination campaign by general practitioners has been set for November 2, with the possibility of combined administration with the third anti-Covid dose. A delay with respect to the indications of the ministry that does not worry Domenico Crisarà, family doctor from Padua and deputy national secretary of the Fimmg: “Going a little further with the administration – he says – allows us to cover both flu peaks well, at the end of December and February”. In the coming days the details on the involvement of the hubs where anti Covid vaccinations are in progress.