Seasonal flu jab now available to all

Stage four of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign is underway and anyone wishing to receive the jab can now obtain it in pharmacies throughout Monaco, regardless of where you live.

Phase one of the drive to inoculate the population against the seasonal flu began back in October, with priority being given to those living in Monaco aged 65 and over. The second phase, which came on 3rd November, was dedicated to all Monaco residents. Then on 23rd November, it was the turn of state insured employees of the Principality and their beneficiaries.

Now, as of 14th December, the vaccine is available to all, even non-residents and those without a prescription. To obtain the flu jab, one must simply go to a pharmacy and ask. The vaccine can be administered by a willing pharmacist, a person’s attending doctor or a private nurse.

The jab is fully reimbursable through the patient’s social security scheme.

As the idea is to inoculate as many people as possible, the Monegasque health authorities opened the window wide. The main reason for the push is to prevent people from the combined one-two punch of getting the flu and Covid at the same time.

It is rare for people to catch both at once, but not unprecedented and the risks can be far more profound. In analyses of cases from January to April 2020 done by Public Health England, they found that people with both viruses were more than twice as likely to die than if only fighting one virus alone.

It is also possible that having both viruses at once could amplify how poorly a patient feels during the illness, as the body is fighting off double trouble.

The study was small, only 58 people, and the evidence is still coming in, but the risks seem unnecessary when seasonal flu can be avoided by simply getting vaccinated.

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