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January 27, 2023

Campaign of free vaccination against flu to start in November

The campaign initiated by the Ministry of Health (MS) destined to provide free vaccination against influenza, with vaccines purchased from abroad, will start in November, when 500,000 persons included in high-risk categories will be granted priority to gain immunity, Mediafax reported.  Ministry of Health spokesperson Oana Grigore mentioned that the persons vaccinated with priority will include citizens over 65, those suffering of chronic diseases – especially respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases – as well as children and elderly living in state facilities, medical personnel and pregnant women, according to the recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and for the European Centre for the Prevention and Control of Diseases.
As in all previous years, the vaccination campaign will be performed in the offices of family doctors and hospitals, Oana Grigore also mentioned.
No Romanian vaccine this year
For the free immunization of 500,000 persons, the Ministry of Health will purchase the necessary doses from abroad, as the “Cantacuzino” Institute, once one of the most appreciated producers of immunity-enhancing producers in the world, stopped producing vaccines.
In pharmacies, a dose of vaccine against influenza costs approximately RON 30.
The Ministry of Health recommends the population to follow the advice of doctors during periods of frequent fluctuations of temperature, and to follow the basic rules of hygiene in order to avoid illnesses.
For the cold season of 2014 – 2015, the WHO recommended the use of a vaccine that is almost similar to the one of last year. Thus, each dose of 0.5 ml of trivalent inactivated and purified flu vaccine must contain the following subtypes: A/California (H1N1), A/Texas (H3N12) and B/Massachusetts.
Compared to the previous season, the only difference is that the H3N2 subtype was named Victoria last year and is named Texas this year, after the American state where the flu virus was isolated.
In Romania, no case of flu was confirmed this autumn, according to the National Centre of Supervision of Control of Transmittable Diseases.
The Cantacuzino Institute, in decline
For the campaign of immunisation during the cold season of 2013 – 2014, the Ministry of Health purchased 600,000 doses of vaccine against influenza from abroad, and the Cantacuzino Institute was to produce other 400,000 doses. The doses produced by the Cantacuzino Institute were not launched on the market, because they were inadequate to the regulations, as they had a huge concentration of endotoxins, that could produce adverse reactions during administration, such as fever or anaphylactic shock.
The first year when the vaccines of the “Cantacuzino” Institute were no longer used for free immunization against influenza was 2012, when packs of doses manufactured by this institute were withdrawn due to the low concentration of the B subtype, and the production line of the vials was closed afterwards.
The “Cantacuzino” Institute started declining in February 2010, after the National Agency of Drugs withdrew its authorisation of selling injectable products, including vaccines, due to the expiration of its standard of manufacturing practices.
Under these circumstances, certain national programs of immunization were blocked for several months and the authorities were forced to import vaccines.

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