The national campaign of vaccination against seasonal influenza will begin on Monday January 10, giving priority to the elderly and the chronically ill.

In total, the Social Security Fund (CCSS – Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) has purchased 300,000 doses, an investment that reached the amount of $1.9 million.

The 2011 vaccine consists of two strains of influenza A, one strain of influenza B, and the H1N1 virus, which, according to experts, are the ones that are making people sick.

As reported by the press office of the CCSS, this vaccination will involve about 5,000 staff of Ebais (Equipos Básicos de Atención Integral) in clinics and hospitals throughout the country.

The vaccination campaign is carried out before the start of winter, which is the season where there is always a registered increase of respiratory diseases.

A CCSS study showed that protecting the most vulnerable to the flu creates a positive impact because they reduce new cases of influenza. Between 2000 and 2008, the number affected decreased from 900 cases per hundred thousand to about 700.

In less than five years, deaths from pneumonia due to influenza virus fell from 11 deaths per thousand hospitalized to 7.

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