Flu vaccine for all being considered

During the Meet-the-Press held yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that under Royal Command the Ministry of Health is considering providing the flu vaccination for every individual from the next season.

PM said ordinary flu will complicate or mix with other flu like symptoms, like in the present case of COVID-19 and so the flu vaccine can eliminate such confusion.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said the flu vaccine protects a person from getting the flu, which is a viral respiratory illness that is highly contagious.

Upon complication, it may lead to other serious health issues or diseases, and in some cases, it can be fatal.

The reason behind making the flu vaccine available for all is that respiratory illness has always been one of the top 10 causes of morbidity in Bhutan for many years.

Flu vaccine was always available for the immuno-compromised patients in the past, and flu vaccination was launched on 6 November 2019 for 5 categories of risk groups, such as pregnant women, patients with medical condition, elderly population 65 years and above, children 6-23 months and health workers involved in clinical management.

According to the influenza surveillance conducted by Royal Centre for Disease Control (RCDC), Bhutan has two flu seasons. Winter season starting from December to March, and Monsoon season starting from July to September.

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