Health insurance funds: the first consignment of influenza vaccine has already reached Lithuania


2021 08 30


The first consignment of flu vaccine – 100 thousand doses – intended for the 2021-2022 influenza season has reached Lithuania extremely early this year. As of today, vaccines are started to be distributed throughout medical treatment centres. According to the professionals, this allows patients to plan rationally their visits to the doctor and to choose the time for vaccination, to protect themselves, members of their families and relatives. 

Taking into consideration the epidemiological situation, as well as not only the world-wide demand for vaccine against COVD-19 corona virus disease but also against influenza, and getting ready for the forthcoming season of colds, the National Health Insurance Fund under the Ministry of Health (NHIF) purchased extremely early, in March of this year, as many as 257 doses of four-valent flu vaccine. This is almost by 5 per cent more than the amount purchased last year. This purchase cost the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) slightly more than 2.2 million euros. It is planned that a second consignment of influenza vaccine of this year will reach Lithuania at the end of October. 

It was more than once that the World Health Organisation, well-known Lithuanian doctors and epidemiologists accentuated the importance of flu vaccines, which can protect people against serious complications. Professionals fear that the incidence of influenza during the present autumn-winter season might be much higher than it was last year when many people found themselves “locked in” at home by the coronavirus. 

According to the specialists of the NHIF, the fact that this year the flu vaccine reached us as early as never before allows the patients to plan their visits to the doctor rationally and to choose the time for vaccination. Some people can do it now, others – somewhat later. All the more so, that no final decision on a third vaccine against COVD-19 corona virus disease has been reached yet. 

On the other hand, specialists emphasise, that elderly people, most of whom belong to the risk group, are recommended to get vaccinated later – in November-January. The immune system of elderly people is weaker and the immunity that develops following the vaccination is not as long-lasting as that of young people. In all cases, however, an individual decision should be taken, therefore it is necessary that a patient should consult his/her family doctor. 

The specialists of the NHIF draw attention to the fact that a flu vaccine for each influenza season is produced anew, its production and delivery to a country usually takes from 6 to 8 months. In preparing for the 2021-2022 influenza season, health care establishments specified the demand for a flu vaccine as early as the end of 2020. Following the National Programme of Immuno-prophylaxis 2019-2023, similarly to the former season, four-valent flu vaccine has been purchased for the present influenza season. 

The following people belonging to risk groups are vaccinated for free by a vaccine purchased by the money from the CHIF: people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, individuals who live in long-term nursing homes and residential institutions, as well as people suffering from oncological, cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney diseases, chronic diseases related to immune mechanisms. Also, the staff of health care institutions receive reimbursed Covid-19 vaccines. 

People belonging to risk groups should see their family doctor as to a vaccine. 

In Lithuania, people belonging to risk groups have been vaccinated at the expense of the CHIF since 2008.

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 2222.