Zeno in Vilnius is vaccinated against the flu every year. A man at risk says that vaccination is necessary at his age and with many diseases. Zeno usually gets his clinic and free vaccine, but this year Zeno hasn’t. The man says he miraculously found where to insert it, and still in exchange for money.
“I called for a month, there will be a vaccine, and then I worked, I was working that day, I called, they say, everything, we got it and we finished. This forced me to sit at the computer and look for a private place where I found it, and it’s free for me, I am 72 years old and retired, it is good that I have found it, 44 euros, but what will you do? ”Says retired Zeno.
The Antakalnis Polyclinic has received 5,100 free doses of the flu vaccine this year. 1,700 remain. Who will receive the free vaccine will be decided by the family doctor, who is fortunate enough to have at least some diseases or more severe forms of them. Well, the polyclinic no longer pays for vaccines.
“There are a lot of calls in the polyclinic and probably in all other organizations. Ask if I have a paid vaccine or if I can come for free vaccination. There is a lot of interest in groups of different ages,” says family doctor Simona Dikšienė.
If last year the outpatient clinic had traces of the flu vaccine, this year the interest in the flu vaccine has increased 2-3 times. According to doctors, the Lithuanians probably went to get vaccinated because the flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of Covid-19 infection.
“And those who have never been vaccinated, I would say, have become obsolete, but at the moment they want to be vaccinated. I will not even vaccinate patients who say I will never get the flu, or I will get sick easily anyway, now they want to, ”says family doctor Natalija Šertvytienė.
However, not everyone sees the need to get vaccinated against the flu, and the arguments are classic:
“They didn’t get me vaccinated. There’s the virus, it’s constantly mutating.”
“I think you can be careful without the vaccine.”
“Somehow I’m not sick.”
And those who want to get vaccinated with the flu vaccine do not save 40 euros, although last year such a vaccine cost about 30 euros. However, the reserves of private clinics are also running out – they will be able to get vaccinated against the flu for another couple of weeks, and it will not be known how it will be later, because there is a shortage of flu vaccines both in Europe and worldwide.
“Then we realized. And we really don’t know, we’re actively discussing with the two providers, it’s almost possible to say every day that we’re joining, and we’re having discussions to see if we can expect to receive these vaccines in the future,” he said. Paulius Stravinskas, representative of Affidea.
The batch of more than 100,000 vaccines delivered centrally to all treatment facilities is nearing completion. Representatives of the Health Insurance Fund said the second 100,000-dose flu vaccine arrived in Lithuania on Nov. 4, but it is unclear when the vaccine will reach the entire polyclinic in the country.
“We don’t really know the exact date, because we can’t tell ourselves how the provider will manage to take you to one particular medical institution or another,” says Agnė Dmitrijevaitė, a representative of the Health Insurance Fund.
“They are at risk for those who have such a vaccine and can get a free vaccine, they just have to wait for that second consultation to get to the treatment facilities and get information and come to get the vaccine,” says Health Minister Aurelius Veryga.
Aurelius Veryga says no additional flu vaccines are expected this year, as he wants to reach people across Europe, and manufacturers are unlikely to get that need.
The last part of the consignment of free flu vaccines, 37 thousand doses of influenza, should arrive in Lithuania in mid-December.