More health professionals were vaccinated against the flu by the end of January this year compared with 2019, though the overall percentage remained low, according to data collected by the National Public Health Organization.
A total of 34.3 percent of employees working in hospitals had been vaccinated by January 31, versus 27.2 percent in the same period last year. In public health clinics, the same figure stood at 50.7 percent, versus 39.8 percent in 2019.
In the 2017-18 flu season, the corresponding rates were 24.9 percent for hospitals and 40.2 percent for health centers.
The data for 2020 is tentative, as authorities are waiting for the end of the flu season to get an accurate picture.
Up until five years ago, the percentage of vaccinated workers remained very low, despite evidence showing that they had been the main source of transmission of influenza in several hospital outbreaks.
Indicatively, in the period 2009-2017, the number of vaccinated health professionals ranged from just 4.4 percent to 18 percent for hospitals and from 16.8 percent to 34.6 percent for primary health care centers.