The Directorate-General for Health reinforced yesterday (28th November the call for vaccination. The flu strain that is expected to circulate this year is associated with more cases and more severe conditions of the disease

Since October, 1.2 million vaccines have been administered by the National Health Service (SNS), which represents an additional 19% over the same period last year. There are still 300 thousand available doses, besides the 600 thousand available for sale in pharmacies. For the first time this year, the vaccine has also become free for people with diabetes and firefighters who have a recommendation for it.

Influenza A (H3) is expected to the dominant flu virus this winter, the same as last year which caused an excess mortality of 27% in Portugal.

Graça Freitas, director general of Health, has reinforced yesterday the call for vaccination: “Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. That is the great precaution against influenza.” Rui Nogueira, president of the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF), told the DN that there is “lack of care” in Portugal in the “cold suitability” and left some advice to the Portuguese.

The cold flu will have killed 4467 people in Portugal last winter, which represents an excess of 27% over that expected. As in the other European countries, the influenza A (H3) virus was the predominant one, as it is expected to be this year. “When the dominant virus is an A (H3) virus, the intensity of the flu tends to be greater and even the severity of the disease,” warned Graça Freitas yesterday.