With all the focus on COVID-19 vaccination, US health professionals have another plea. Do not skip flu shots.
Influenza cases have fallen to historically low levels during the pandemic. There were few influenza outbreaks in the United States and Europe last winter, and there were few reports in the Southern Hemisphere after the second influenza season of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, with the reopening of US schools and businesses, the resumption of overseas travel, and much less masking this fall, the flu could come back. The big question is whether it’s coming in little by little, and whether it’s screaming and putting extra pressure on hospitals that are already suffering from the COVID-19 surge.
Richard Webby, an influenza specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, said:
But after little exposure to the flu for 18 months, “we’re probably not as immune to the virus as usual,” Webby said. “It definitely makes sense to go out and get it vaccination At the very least, be prepared for something that can be very demanding. “
There are some things you need to know.
Q: Who should get the flu vaccine?
A: According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost everyone needs to be vaccinated against the flu every year, starting with a 6-month-old baby. Influenza is the most dangerous for adults over the age of 65. infant, Pregnant woman And certain people Health, Heart Lung disease..
Q: Why do you need this year when influenza wasn’t a threat during the pandemic?
A: COVID-19 restrictions, including masking and staying at home, reveal the secondary benefit of controlling influenza and other respiratory insects, especially for children who are the largest spreaders of influenza. I had it in. However, as soon as the mask began to come off, the United States experienced an unusual summer surge in children hospitalized with another virus called RSV. This usually happens in winter. This is a worrying sign of what to expect if the flu recurs.
Q: What is the forecast for influenza this winter?
A: Influenza is notorious for being difficult to predict. But this fall, some countries have a little more outbreaks than last year, including the recent rise in China, said Webby, who heads the World Health Organization’s influenza center. And people may be a little more vulnerable: before the pandemic, 15% to 30% of the population was exposed to the flu each year, a bulge lacking immunity, he said.
“If the flu at least gives us a foothold, we’ll have more opportunities to spread this season,” he said.
Q: When should I get the flu vaccine?
A: Now. The CDC recommends that people be vaccinated by the end of October. Clinics, retail pharmacies, and community health departments have millions of doses on hand. And most Americans with health insurance can get it at no cost.
Q: I already have the COVID-19 vaccine.Do you really need Influenza vaccination, that too?
A: The COVID-19 vaccine prevents coronavirus, and the influenza vaccine prevents influenza. They do not overlap. However, you can catch both viruses at the same time or one after another.
“Avoid double pain” and get both vaccines, advised the American Emergency Medical College. For now, the COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 12.
Influenza vaccines are not as powerful as vaccines against some other illnesses, but if people get the flu anyway, they tend to get a much milder illness.
Q: Can I receive the influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
A: Yes, the CDC states that it is okay to combine the flu vaccine with either a primary COVID-19 shot or booster immunization.
Q: What is the best flu vaccine to get?
A: Influenza is constantly evolving, and every year, international experts make vaccines to fight the likely strains. All influenza vaccines offered in the United States this year provide protection against all four strains. Options include conventional shots or nasal spray vaccines. There are also shots specially designed to improve the aged-aged immune system in the elderly, either at high doses or with additional immune boosters. There are also options for people who are allergic to eggs used to vaccinate against some flu.
Q: How much is it Influenza vaccine Is it available?
A: The CDC expects vaccine manufacturers to give 188 to 200 million doses. There are records that nearly 194 million doses were distributed last winter.
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