San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Health matters

Caja to distribute flu vaccines next week

The Social Security System (Caja) announced that the first shipment of influenza vaccines arrived Tuesday and is being cleared by customs. The trivalent vaccine protects against two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain.

Dinorah Garro, manager of logistics at the Caja, stated that once the customs process is finished, vaccines will be sent to the Caja’s Quality Control Laboratory in order to evaluate their effectiveness.

For 2012, the Caja acquired 313,000 doses of the flu vaccine at an investment of $1.5 million, Garro said.

Both José Miguel Hidalgo, director of the Caja’s Bureau of Development Services, and Isabel Fernández, from the Caja’s immunization program, said that at least 80 percent of vaccines will be distributed during the first three days of next week, beginning with the northern Pacific and south-central regions.

On March 1-2, the remaining doses will be distributed to the rest of the country.

The Caja officials said that the vaccine program is a preventive campaign carried out by the Caja annually since 2004 in an effort to reduce the complications that are caused by influenza.

As in previous years, target groups to protect against flu include the population over 65, pediatric patients with disease risk, morbidly obese adults, people with diabetes, heart disease, blood disease and HIV/AIDS, and women in the third trimester of pregnancy, among others.

Authorities estimate that the vaccination campaign will mobilize about 5,000 Caja employees across the country.

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