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22 October 2021

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs Recalls the Importance of Vaccination to Prevent Influenza

From now on, all employees insured by the Monaco Social Security Funds and the State Medical Benefits Office (SPME) and their dependents will be able to obtain influenza vaccines from pharmacies in the Principality, with or without a medical prescription.

In practical terms, these vaccines are available in pharmacies in the Principality on presentation of a social security card. Patients can have the vaccine administered by a doctor, a private nurse, a pharmacist or a medical biologist in the Principality.

The cost of the vaccine will be fully reimbursed by the patient's social security fund.

The aim of the Monegasque health authorities is to encourage as many people as possible to be vaccinated and thus do everything possible to limit the combined effects of the two viruses, as these viruses could be circulating at the same time.

In this time of Coronavirus, being vaccinated against influenza has many advantages:

- Vaccination against influenza simplifies the management of a patient with a flu-like syndrome.  Although seasonal flu and COVID are caused by very different viruses, they give rise to identical symptoms - fever, cough, fatigue and muscle aches.  Diagnosis is therefore easier if an infected person has these symptoms but has been vaccinated against influenza – healthcare staff will be able to identify a possible case of COVID more quickly and offer appropriate treatment, whether at home or in hospital;   

- Vaccination against influenza relieves the burden on healthcare establishments. Every year, patients with influenza visit the accident and emergency department and some develop complications that require hospitalisation. In an ongoing COVID outbreak, hospital resources must be available to deal with severe forms of COVID;

- Vaccination against influenza reduces the number of absences from work and school. When a person presents with symptoms that suggest COVID, they are required to stay at home while awaiting the result of a PCR test, to reduce the risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is clinically impossible (without a PCR test) to distinguish between influenza and COVID. By eliminating influenza, the number of days of absence from work or school is reduced. 

You are reminded that vaccination against influenza is not carried out at the COVID-19 National Vaccination Centre.


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