The flu epidemic could be more virulent this year, warns the ARS of Hauts-de-France

The flu epidemic could be more virulent this year, warns the ARS of Hauts-de-France
The flu epidemic could be more virulent this year, warns the ARS of Hauts-de-France

Should we expect a more virulent influenza epidemic this year? The health authorities fear it. We should not end up with a peak of influenza at the same time as a new wave of Covid-19, warns the Hauts-de-France Regional Health Agency, which therefore launches an appeal: notice to target populations, caregivers , pregnant women, people over 65, get vaccinated as soon as possible against the flu and do not slack off on barrier gestures. Because it is the cumulative effect of the two which means that last year, the influenza virus circulated very little.

56% of the target population was vaccinated against influenza in Hauts-de-France last year. The ARS hopes to reach 65% this year, knowing that the World Health Organization recommends 75%. And the ARS indicates that if the Covid-19 figures have risen slightly, it is because we are too relaxed on barrier gestures.

“When we are woozy, we take the reflex to put on a mask!”

Everyone rushed for flu shots last year, acknowledges Grégory Tempremant, pharmacist in Comines (North) and president of the URPS Pharmacists union: “This year 17% more doses were ordered to avoid shortages.”

With containment, the flu circulated less last year, there was no epidemic, that is to say, no serious cases. And then, according to Jean-Marc Vandendriessche, regional director of the medical service of health insurance in Hauts-de-France, barrier gestures have also proven their effectiveness against all viruses : “It would be good if, culturally, we learned to practice barrier gestures on our own when we risk transmitting a virus! When we are woozy, we take the reflex to put on a mask, disinfect our hands and not be in contact with the most fragile. ”

“Two doses in each arm, it’s still not much!”

Less flu last year means we’re less immune this year, warns Doctor François Vandecandelaere, general practitioner in Laventie near Lille. It is therefore necessary to be vaccinated against the flu now and it is perfectly possible to kill two birds with one stone with your booster dose against Covid-19, it does not present any risk: “Two doses in each arm, it’s still not much compared to our infants who receive ten vaccines at once and who live it very well and have no worries!”

But to combine influenza vaccine and third dose now, you must have received the previous dose more than six months ago, that is to say before the end of April.

 
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