Minister of Health Ogerta Manastirliu said that all health personnel in Albania have received the influenza vaccine.
During the inauguration of the COVID-3 hospital, Manastirliu said that over 70,000 doctors have received the vaccine. They are part of the most endangered group as they are first in the fight against Coronavirus. Pharmacists have not been given the vaccine for free.
She said that in the last days of this month, the next batch of influenza vaccines will arrive in Albania to complete the quota of 368,000 vaccines.
Those that will receive it include teachers, educators, chronically ill, children under four, and the elderly.
The influenza vaccine is advised to be given between early September and late October as the body needs time to make the antibodies necessary to fight the illness. This. year, the European Commission advised countries to start their vaccination programme earlier this year as a part of the COVID-19 strategy.
The first free vaccines were given at the beginning of October.
Exit also reported that there is likely a shortfall in the number of vaccines purchased and the number of those that meet the criteria of the Ministry. It’s also worth noting that some first-time vaccine takers require two shots, not just one.
The flu vaccine is still not available to buy in the pharmacy for those not covered by the state vaccines. Earlier this month, local firm Megapharma was fined by the competition authority for importing one vaccine and only selling it to its own brand pharmacies.
The vaxigrip vaccine which is made by French company Sanofi and is preferred by all the pharmacists’ Exit spoke to, is still not available. They said they have no date of when it will arrive, but hope it will come by the end of the month.