More than 4 out of 10 Americans don’t know or plan to get vaccinated against the flu this year, a new survey found that health professionals say the flu season could get worse.
Concerns about last year’s flu and COVID-19 outbreaks in hospitals across the country have been unfounded after the historic flu season.
Doctors say the COVID-19 vaccines, which allow many people to return to a “normal” lifestyle and engage in personal work during flu season, could make it harder for hospitals and health care systems in a country where both viruses are low. .
“We are particularly concerned because COIVD is there,” said Dr. William Shaffner, medical director of the National Fund for Infectious Diseases. “The flu is coming back again this year. We don’t want to increase stress on the health care system.”
And at a time when COVID-19 cases are declining nationally, there are parts of the country where “a large portion of the population is not vaccinated against COVID,” Shaffner said. “COVID will remain active in those parts of the country. If you add the flu, I think we can expect a harsh winter in some parts of the country.”
“We face a similar threat this year,” he said.Experts are updating warnings of “twindemi” in the U.S. as COVID-19 cases increase.
A survey of more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. commissioned by the National Infectious Diseases Foundation found that more than 60% of Americans have the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu-related deaths and hospitalizations. agreed that this was the method, while 44% said they were unsure of the planning. Influenza vaccine this year.
The reasons for the reluctance of the flu vaccine may be less political than divisions that are skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine, Shaffner said. This is an annual practice, and unlike polio or measles vaccines, which have virtually eliminated these diseases in the United States, the flu is contagious.
The main reason is the hesitation of the flu vaccineit was found by the surveyed adults that it does not work very well.
Shaffner said that while the flu vaccine is not perfect, it still provides significant protection against hospitalization and death.
“It would be great if we had a more effective vaccine than we have,” said Dr. Thomas Holland, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University Hospital. “But the truth is that the most effective way and the best way to prevent influenza infections and hospitalization and death is to get vaccinated every year.”
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Respondents also said they would not be vaccinated against the flu because they would never get the flu, worried about side effects, not considering the flu as a serious illness, or worried about getting the flu from the vaccine.
The flu vaccine does not give people the flu and the side effects indicate a proper immune reaction in the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can be taken at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Dutch say about half of Americans get the flu vaccine every year. However, immunity decreases much more rapidly than with COVID-19 vaccines, and influenza viruses change from year to year, requiring annual imaging.
However, as the number of people infected with the flu virus last season was very low, there will be no additional protection against diseases that cause natural immunity in humans.
The flu season of 2020-2021 was almost non-existent. According to the CDC, 2,038 influenza cases were reported in health and clinical laboratories between 27 September and 24 April 2020.
Much of this decline, Shaffner said, is due to social exclusion and masking across the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When most of these restrictions are eased, Shaffner expects the flu to return.
He said many children are at greater risk of returning to class because he has left the flu virus to children much longer and longer than adults.
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According to the Dutch, one of the potential benefits of the pandemic is to increase the willingness of these people to stay home when they become ill, rather than get rid of the disease and spread it to others.
The study found that 45 percent of Americans are more likely to stay home from work or school when they become ill due to a pandemic. Most people said they would wear a mask, at least this flu season.
To increase the number of vaccinations, Shaffner said, doctors need to prioritize the flu vaccine in their reports. Often, this is something that is conceived at the end of a visit.
“Different types of health care providers need to have not only flu vaccines, but flu vaccines,” Shaffner said.
Attended by: Adrianna Rodriguez