More than four in ten Americans are not sure or planning on getting the flu shot this year, a new survey has found, with public health experts saying the worsening trend may exacerbate the flu.
Last year’s worries “Twindemic” influenza and Kovid-19’s overwhelming hospitalizations across the country have gone unhelpful after a historically mild fever.
But doctors say that because COVID-19 vaccines allow many people to return to the “normal” life of socialization and personal work during the flu, hospitals and health systems can be troubled in parts of the country where the vaccine is low against both viruses.
“We’re especially worried about COIVD being there. The flu is coming back this year. And we don’t want to stress our already under-resourced health care system anymore,” said Dr. Dale, the medical director of the National Foundation. William Schaffner said infectious diseases.
And while current Covid cases are declining nationally, there are parts of the country where “a large number of people are not vaccinated against Covid,” Schaffner said. “Kovid stays active in those parts of the country. And then if you add influenza to it, in some parts of the country, we can have a tough winter,” Schaffner said.
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There was a survey of over 1,000 US adults commissioned by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, but more than 60% of Americans agreed that flu shot is the best way to prevent flu death and hospitalization, with 44% saying they are not sure or planning on getting the flu vaccine this year.
Schaffner said the causes of flu vaccine regression may be less political than the divisions that make the COVID-19 vaccine suspicious. They are an annual practice, and unlike the polio or measles vaccine, virtually eliminated those diseases in the United States, sticking around the flu.
Flu vaccine is the leading cause cited for regressionAdults surveyed do not do this well.
Although the flu vaccine is by no means perfect, it still offers significant protection against hospitalization and death, Schaffner said.
“It would be better if we had a more effective vaccine than we have. But an annual vaccine is still the best tool for preventing influenza infections and hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Doug. Thomas Holland said.
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Respondents to the survey said they did not get the flu shot because they never had the flu, were worried about the side effects, did not consider the flu as a serious illness, or were afraid of getting the flu from the vaccine.
The flu vaccine cannot give people the flu, and the side effects indicate a proper immune response in the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can be accepted as a COVID-19 vaccine.
Holland says about half of Americans get a flu shot in a typical year. But immunity declines rapidly compared to Covid-19 vaccines, and flu viruses change annually, requiring annual shots.
However, he said that few people were exposed to the influenza virus during the last season, so people may not have the extra protection against natural immunity.
The 2020-2021 flu season is practically non-existent. According to the CDC, between September 27, 2020 and April 24, public health and clinical laboratories reported 2,038 flu cases.
Schaffner said the collapse was due to the social gap and masks practiced across the country to prevent the spread of Kovid-19. After loosening many of those restrictions, Schaffner expects the flu to return.
The return of many children to classes poses a threat of transmission, he said, and children are more likely to shed the flu virus than adults and are prolonged.
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One potential benefit of the epidemic is the increased willingness of people to stay home when they are sick, which can fuel energy and spread it to others, Holland said.
According to the survey, 45% of Americans are more likely to stay home from work or school when they are sick with an epidemic. Most people said they wear masks sometimes during this flu.
To increase the number of vaccinations, doctors need to make flu shot a priority in their message, Schaffner said. Often, this is a thought at the end of the visit.
“Not all types of health care providers need to be just influenza vaccine advocates, they need to be influenza vaccine inspectors,” Schaffner said.
Contribution: Adriana Rodriguez