Influenza vaccination plan aims to reduce COVID-19 effects

September 20, 2020 - 18:15

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Health will start a national plan on Tuesday aiming to provide two million doses of influenza vaccines for at-risk groups such as the elderly, transplant patients, cardiopulmonary patients, and pregnant women to reduce COVID-19 effects, Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, head of the Food and Drug Administration, has said.

“This year, we have predicted about 14 million doses of influenza vaccine for the people, compared to last year of 1.6 million doses,” he stated.

The flu vaccine will be available in pharmacies with the priority for people over 65 years of age. From September 22, elderly people can receive the vaccine by ID card, and in the next phase, other people can get the vaccine, he explained.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the observance of health protocols such as social distancing, personal hygiene, disinfection of hands, and use of masks, the flu infection will be much lower than the previous years. Therefore, vaccination is not necessary for the whole population, he noted.

In the press briefing on Sunday, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 3,097 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 422,140. She added that 359,570 patients have so far recovered, but 3,898 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.

In the past 24 hours, 183 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 24,301, she added.

Lari noted that so far 3,719,210 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country.

She said the high-risk “red” zones include provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Qom, East Azarbaijan, South Khorasan, Semnan, Qazvin, Lorestan, Ardebil, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Gilan, Bushehr, Zanjan, Ilam, Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Alborz, West Azarbaijan, Markazi, Kerman, North Khorasan, Hamedan, and Yazd.

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