Demand increases for influenza vaccination

Demand increases for influenza vaccination
Demand increases for influenza vaccination

More influenza vaccines will be available this year in Quebec, but they will be primarily intended for vulnerable people. In the context of a pandemic, however, some pharmacists are concerned that they will not be able to meet the demand.

At the Integrated University Health and Social Services Center (CIUSSS) in the East of the Island of Montreal, the vaccination campaign was launched on October 19. The vaccines will be administered from November.

Unlike in previous years, the objective is above all to reach people who meet certain vulnerability criteria, explains Julie Provencher, director of the youth program and public health activities for this CIUSSS.

While they are prioritized because of their greater risk of developing complications, the vaccine is not exclusive to them. “Of course, we will not refuse anyone who comes this year,” she said.

Ms. Provencher reminds us that influenza vaccination can help prevent congestion in hospitals. The availability of beds in hospitals is also a sinews of war in the context of a pandemic.

Another novelty this year, the vaccination in CLSCs will have to pass by making an appointment online or by phone. Mobile teams will also travel to residences for the elderly (RPA), CHSLDs and low-cost housing for the elderly in order to vaccinate vulnerable people.

More vaccines

The CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal was not able to specify the number of vaccines at its disposal this year. However, in Quebec, the government has increased its vaccine offer by 30%.

As making an appointment at a CLSC has only been possible since October 19, Ms. Provencher felt that it was too early at the time of the interview to assess whether the campaign had good support.

She also hopes that there is a craze this year for vaccination among people at risk, who are in large numbers in the east of Montreal.

In his opinion, if the CIUSSS de l’Est makes additional requests for vaccines in Quebec, it should find an answer.

“We never ran out of it. […] I do not anticipate that we will be refused to receive vaccines, ”she says.

Great demand in pharmacies

In eastern Montreal, however, the strong demand for vaccines in Montreal pharmacies worries some pharmacists.

“I just have one fear: will I have enough vaccines for everyone?” Says Thina Nguyen, owner of pharmacies located in Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal-East.

Indeed, the pharmacist indicates that 500 of her customers have already reserved vaccines.

Same story with an owner of a pharmacy in Anjou. Since the beginning of October, she has already booked 100 vaccination appointments. According to her, several customers even called her this summer to reserve their dose.

“If it continues like this, unless there are more doses in pharmacies, we will not have enough,” she fears.

In a Jean Coutu in the east of Montreal, an employee indicates for her part that the pharmacy does not give more appointments for the flu for the moment.

Although she is delighted that pharmacists can contribute for the first year to the vaccination effort, Ms. Nguyen also specifies that the workload is quite heavy this year.

In addition to efforts to bring the clinic up to sanitary standards, it will also participate in home vaccination with RPA.

She also believes that the work of pharmacists is far from over. She points out that a second vaccination campaign will take place, as soon as a vaccine against COVID-19 is available.

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