Minister: Health officials to finish seasonal flue vaccine for children by June

Peru is expecting to finish vaccinations for seasonal flues for children less than 5 years old by June, state news agency Andina reported Health Minister Óscar Ugarte as saying.

Ugarte said health officials began the immunization in January and are working in nine cities.

“We have currently vaccinated 50 percent of the [children] younger than 5 years old, which represents the most vulnerable segment of the population to the seasonal flue,” Ugarte was quoted as saying.

Health officials are also planning to increase this month vaccinations for pneumonia in cities that are routinely the hardest hit by extreme cold during Peru’s winter.

Ugarte said the vaccinations for children will prevent a similar rate of deaths caused by freezing temperatures that have become common in Peru’s Altiplano.

In Peru’s southern highlands, where poverty is widespread and there is a lack of doctors, health care facilities, medicine and, in some areas, deficient basic utilities such as electricity, children – often malnourished – are much more vulnerable to extreme cold temperatures and routinely die from exposure to cold weather during the winter months.

Between June and August, temperatures often plummet below 0 degrees Celsius in the higher regions of the Andes.

Last August, for example, freezing temperatures in Peru’s southern Altiplano killed more than 278 children.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *