The Influenza Vaccine
Coming from another country, you may be used to receiving your annual flu vaccine each fall, regardless of your health risk status. In the United States, it has been recommended that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated against influenza since 2014. Here in Spain, you may have noticed less of a buzz about “la gripe” or the need to be vaccinated. Typically, Spain only encourages high-risk groups get the flu vaccine. Groups at greatest risk from the flu include:
Those with chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease)
The young (children older than 6 months)
The old (50 years and older)
What you should know about the flu vaccine:
You can not get the flu from the vaccine
Even if you do get the flu vaccine, you may still get the flu. The good news is that because you got the flu shot, you will be less sick if you do catch the flu.
Turó Park Dental & Medical Center currently has the Vaxigrip Tetra Influenza Vaccine (protects against the three most common strains of the virus) available for 15 euro and a 30 euro vaccine administration fee.
The HPV Vaccine
Both men and women can get the human papilloma virus (HPV), up until age 26.
The HPV vaccine protects against around 90% of cervical cancers, and provides protection against most of the genital cancers in men caused by HPV infection. Additionally, the vaccine protects against 90% of genital warts in both women and men.
Current US recommendations advise both girls and boys be vaccinated between the ages of 11 and 12. In England, girls ages 12-13 are routinely offered the first HPV vaccination when they are in school year 8.
The Gardasil HPV vaccine is available at Turo Park Medical Center for 173 euro plus a 30 euro administration fee.
The Meningococcal Vaccine
Meningitis is a dangerous swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which can cause deafness, mental impairment and even death. Unfortunately 10% of children suffering from meningococcal meningitis will die and up to 30% will suffer lasting effects.
At risk groups include young children, teens, and those living in community (group) settings such as colleges, universities or summer camps.
Different types of meniningitis-causing bacteria and viruses can be found in different parts of the world, so it is important to talk with a physician about whether additional vaccines are needed now that you and/or your family are living in Spain or planning to travel abroad (particularly to sub-Saharan Africa).
Turó Park Dental & Medical currently offers the quadrivalent Nimanerix Vaccine, which protects against the serotypes of A, C, W-135, and Y at a cost of 54 euro for the vaccine and 30 euro for the administration.
For all vaccines, the more people who are vaccinated against illnesses, the lower the chances that you will get sick, because fewer people will be infected in the first place. This is why the public health agencies of most countries have recommendations for vaccines across your lifespan- to keep the greatest number of people healthy. You can check out Catalonia’s recommendations for vaccinations here:
Current vaccination calendar in Catalonia:
Turo Park Dental & Medical Center’s multilingual staff are happy to help arrange reimbursement from your private insurance for any vaccinations. Our physicians (pediatricians, general practitioners, and travel medicine specialists) are also available for consultation regarding which vaccinations are right for you and your family.