Sanofi Pasteur to provide the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in Lebanon after the Banque Du Liban grants exceptional facilities
-Sanofi Pasteur affirms its commitment to providing a quadrivalent influenza vaccine in Lebanon -In coordination with the health authorities, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health promotes awareness on the proper guidance for the use of vaccines
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the World Health Organization and the official health authorities stressed the importance of seasonal flu vaccination for this year, in order to prevent COVID-19 complications and reduce the burden on the healthcare system. In coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, Banque du Liban took a major step to facilitate the import of the seasonal influenza vaccine to make it available promptly in Lebanon by prioritizing bank grants reserved for this purpose.
Sanofi Pasteur, a leader in vaccines protecting against infectious diseases and a global partner for immunization, affirmed its full readiness in delivering the committed doses of its effective quadrivalent influenza vaccine in Lebanon. The company revealed that the required quantities of vaccines are usually identified and ordered a year before the seasonal flu occurs, hence we can’t meet any late requirements, which may result in lack of vaccines over the course of the flu season.
From here, Sanofi Pasteur emphasizes the necessity of cooperating with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, the Syndicate of Pharmacists, the Syndicate of Physicians in Lebanon and health organizations, to promote awareness on the proper guidance for the use of vaccine in accordance with the priorities and standards set by the Lebanese the Ministry of Public Health and as per the World Health Organization recommendations for the flu season 2020-2021. In its turn, the WHO has identified the risk groups for seasonal influenza vaccination during COVID-19. These people are health workers, adults above 65 years old and pregnant women. In addition to these, are individuals with underlying health conditions like those living with diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS, asthma, and other chronic heart or lung diseases. It is also recommended for children and their caregivers to be vaccinated, especially when the children are aged between 6 months and 2 years.
Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a highly contagious, acute, and viral respiratory infection. Annually, the WHO reports about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and between 290,000 to 650,000 deaths worldwide. Many symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, posing a challenge to healthcare providers to diagnose the infection, and determine the required treatment. Additionally, it is possible for the same individual to get infected by both respiratory viruses (COVID-19 and Flu) which might cause more severe symptoms leading to a significant number of patients seeking healthcare.1 This will add a burden on the already overwhelmed healthcare system due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, healthcare providers play an essential role in raising awareness around the expected co-circulation of both viruses and in educating the public on the importance of the influenza vaccination, especially this season, not only to protect people from flu but also to decrease the burden on the healthcare system and preserve resources for the fight against COVID-19.