Hoy Paraguay

Now is the right time to get vaccinated against the flu

Studies indicate that influenza vaccination is the best measure to reduce the possibility of contracting influenza and avoid serious cases and their complications that generate saturation of health services.

Remember that everyone 6 months of age and older can get a flu shot to protect themselves.

However, vaccination is essential for those who are at higher risk of complications from the flu, and also for those close to them and with whom they live, who could transmit the disease to others who are at high risk of complications. .

In this sense, the Ministry of Public Health issued on May 25, a series of recommendations to be taken into account to prevent respiratory diseases that currently show an increase at the country level, such as those caused by respiratory syncytial virus and seasonal influenza. In this situation, they recommend maintaining the usual preventive hygienic measures, and highlight the importance of vaccination against influenza and completing the 3-dose schedule of the vaccine against COVID-19.

The current flu season is expected to be busier than previous years due to less COVID-19 mobility restrictions in recent years. Added to that, a lower level of herd immunity against influenza is estimated due to the lack of exposure to the influenza virus last year and low vaccination coverage, which could result in an increase in cases of influenza by above usual.

According to the General Directorate of Health Surveillance, the trend in respiratory infections has reached a much higher peak than that observed in 2021. The sustained increase in all respiratory conditions, both mild and acute, was recorded in the Month of May. In addition, they indicated that practically 90% of respiratory cases occurred in children under 5 years of age and that is where the burden of the disease is deposited.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), annual influenza epidemics cause 3 to 5 million severe cases and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths worldwide. Epidemics can cause high work and school absenteeism and productivity losses. However, the more people are vaccinated, the less the virus can spread in the community.

The flu vaccine can be received along with the COVID-19 vaccine

According to currently available scientific evidence,

anticovid doses can be administered with other vaccines, including influenza

that is, the influenza vaccine can be received simultaneously with any other vaccine, including COVID-19, and it is not necessary to wait an interval between doses.

Why is it important to get a flu shot every year?

The influenza virus is variable and mutates. Due to this changing nature of influenza viruses, circulating viruses in the population are continuously monitored and recommendations are made annually by the World Health Organization regarding the composition of influenza vaccines. For this reason, each year the vaccines are adapted to the most widely circulated viruses. Also, the body’s immunity against the influenza virus decreases over time, so annual vaccination is recommended.

In seasonal influenza vaccines, the corresponding A virus strains and B lineages are included. Trivalent influenza vaccines include two A strains and one B lineage, and quadrivalent vaccines include a second B lineage and therefore provide protection more espacious.

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