Santiago de Compostela, June 10, 2023
The General Directorate of Public Health begins a new communication campaign -by sending SMS-, to inform the population susceptible to be vaccinated against Herpes Zoster and Pneumococcus, of the possibility of requesting an appointment for the administration of these vaccines, as well as as well as all the information available on its indications.
In this sense, from next Monday, June 12, health centers will begin with the administration of the new 20-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (VNC20) Apexxnar®, systematically in people aged 65 years, in addition to vaccination in people with risk conditions (18 years and over).
In addition, people who request it may also receive the vaccine against herpes zoster (Shingrix®) as systematic vaccination, among the general population that meets, in 2023, 65 years and 80 years (born in 1958 and 1943).
To encourage the people to whom these indications apply to know them, and also to facilitate access to available information on these infections, the target population will receive a communication -via SMS-, by the Ministry of Health. Likewise, they may also request their appointment through the usual channels at their health center and receive the corresponding vaccine or vaccines.
Lifetime vaccination schedule
On September 15, 2022, the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health presented the “Lifelong vaccination calendar”, of which these two vaccines are part, intended for the immunization and protection of adults against two common immunopreventable diseases in our environment.
Vaccination against pneumococcal disease has a long history in our autonomous community, starting in the year 2000 for all people over 65, and also for those belonging to risk groups. Thus, it underwent different changes as the indications for the vaccine were modified, until in 2017 the indication was extended to all people upon reaching 65 years of age.
Despite the fact that it was already part of the Galician calendar as a thirteen-valent vaccine, the main novelty against pneumococcal disease in our community is its replacement by VNC20 (Apexxnar®). A new vaccine containing 20 conjugated pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides, some of these new serotypes having special epidemiological relevance in adult pneumococcal disease.
The measure seeks to expand and improve protection against pneumococcal disease, especially against its most serious forms: pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis that generate more pathology, hospital admissions and can even be fatal, also contributing to reducing the use of antibiotics and their resistors.
For its part, in the case of the herpes zoster vaccine, it is a new vaccine that becomes part of the Galician calendar and is intended for two groups of people: those who turn 65 this year (born in 1958) and 80 years old (born in 1943).
Herpes zoster (HZ) is a disease Mortality is low, but it is frequent and occurs more frequently in the elderly and increases considerably with the presence of immunosuppression. Its complications, especially postherpetic neuralgia, can cause disability and diminish the quality of life, constituting an important public health problem.
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