Distribution of hepatitis A vaccines by pharmacies is suspended

Distribution of hepatitis A vaccines by pharmacies is suspended -  

There are 12,000 vaccines available. The DGS (General Directorate of Health) is on Tuesday to review the guidelines it issued to contain the outbreak of the disease.

The distribution of hepatitis A vaccines by pharmacies is suspended to ensure the management of existing stock, Health Director Francisco George told a press conference in Lisbon on Tuesday. According to the official there are 12 thousand vaccines available from suppliers.

In addition to the vaccine, there are alternative medicines that can be used as a temporary resuscitation solution, such as immunoglobulin injections to help strengthen the immune system to fight infection with the hepatitis A virus. But Francisco George acknowledged on Tuesday that There is also no immunoglobulin specific for hepatitis A in Portugal, so this treatment will have to be replaced by vaccines.

At the press conference at the Directorate General of Health (DGS) Francisco George and his Spanish counterpart, Elena Andradas, Director General of Public Health, Quality and Innovation. Objective: to present the situation regarding hepatitis A in the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish official said that since November, there are 1000 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the country.

The DGS is on Tuesday to review the guidelines it issued to contain the outbreak of hepatitis A.

The number of vaccines available, said Francisco George, will be sufficient if there is a strict management of available stocks, administering the vaccine only to those who need it. The DGS has identified three risk groups, which have priority in vaccination: people who have been in close contact with others who are already infected with the hepatitis A virus; Homosexual population with sexual practices at risk for transmission of the disease (oral and anal sex); And travelers.

The free administration of the vaccine is for the time being limited to a single family health unit in Lisbon, where since Monday 25 people have been vaccinated. According to Diogo Medina, of the DGS hepatitis A working group, authorities are now examining the extension of vaccine sites to other parts of the country.

Of the 138 cases diagnosed by this Tuesday - with five to eight new cases per day - about half are concentrated in the Lisbon area. With the outbreak of the disease still to be controlled, the main concern of the authorities are now the summer festivals in Portugal not only for the behaviors prevailing there, but also for practically no sanitary conditions, said Francisco George. Another event of concern is the LGBT pride demonstration - "World Pride" - which takes place in June in Madrid, which can bring together some two million people.

Source: "Public" newspaper and author on April 6, 2017